Fukushima Radiation: Is It Still Safe To Eat Fish? | Chris Kresser
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Fukushima Radiation: Is It Still Safe To Eat Fish?

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fukushima seafood, fukushima radiation fish
In light of the Fukushima disaster, the safety of fish has been called into question.

I received several questions about whether my recommendations for fish consumption (one pound of cold-water, fatty fish per week) had changed since the Fukushima disaster. You may have seen reports in the media about the discovery of radioactive isotopes (cesium-134 and cesium-137) in Pacific bluefin tuna that migrated from Japan to California waters. (1) This was covered by more than a thousand newspapers worldwide and several thousand internet, television and radio outlets.

Unfortunately, despite statements by the authors of the original research and other authorities to the contrary, these media reports led to widespread belief that fish on the Pacific coast of the U.S. now contain harmful levels of radioactive chemicals. Several people have told me that they’re no longer eating seafood themselves or serving it to their children because of this information.

While it’s natural and appropriate to be concerned about radiation, in this case the concern is unfounded. A recent peer-reviewed study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences evaluated the health risks of consuming Pacific bluefin tuna after the Fukushima event and found the following: (2)

  • A typical restaurant-sized portion of Pacific bluefin tuna (200 grams, or 7 ounces) contains about 5% of the radiation you would get from eating one uncontaminated banana and absorbing it’s naturally occurring radiation. All foods on the planet contain radiation. Like every other toxin, it’s the dose of radiation (rather than its simple presence) that determines whether it’s toxic to humans.
  • Levels of naturally occurring radioactive isotopes (polonium-210 and potassium-40) in bluefin tuna are greater by orders of magnitude than levels of radioactive isotopes from Fukushima contamination (cesium-134 and cesium-137). In fact, levels of polonium-210 were 600 times higher than cesium. This suggests that the additional radiation (in the form of cesium) from Fukushima is insignificant from a health perspective.
  • Even at very high intakes (3/4 of a pound of contaminated bluefin tuna a day) for an entire year, you’d still receive only 12% of the dose of radiation you’re exposed to during one cross-country flight from LA to New York.
  • Assuming the very high levels of fish consumption above, the excess relative risk of fatal cancer would be only 2 additional cases per 10 million similarly exposed people. And there’s reason to believe that number is no more than chance. Statistically significant elevations in cancer risk are only observed at doses of radiation that are 25,000 times higher than what you’d be exposed to by eating 3/4 of a pound of bluefin tuna per day.
  • Some bottom-feeding fish right off the coast of Japan contain much higher levels of radiation (i.e. >250 times more cesium) than those found in Pacific bluefin tuna. Even if you consumed 1/3 of a pound per day of this highly contaminated fish, you’d still be below the international dose limit for radiation exposure from food.

Finally, according to Dr. Robert Emery at at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston says you’d need to eat 2.5 to 4 tons of tuna in a year to get a dose of cesium-137 that exceeds health limits. (3) That’s 14 to 22 pounds of tuna a day.

To date, I haven’t seen any credible evidence suggesting that there’s even a minuscule risk from eating fish caught in the Pacific ocean. (Please respond in the comments section if you’re aware of any such evidence). If you read an article on the internet or elsewhere claiming that Fukushima radiation in seafood is causing problems, check to see if it includes references to studies published in peer-reviewed journals by independent researchers. If it doesn’t, I’d advise a healthy dose of skepticism.

My recommendations for seafood consumption haven’t changed. If there’s any risk you should be concerned about when it comes to fish, it’s the risk of not eating enough!

507 Comments

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  1. The problem is, Kris, that evidence is being suppressed. You should know better than anyone that industry suppresses research that harms industry. We have seen it in nutrition since Ancel Keys. Don’t err on the side of safe-until-proven-unsafe with this issue. That attitude could irreparably harm everyone.

  2. I do not agree with your recommendations Chris. Cesium radiation is not something that has acceptable levels. 0 is the only acceptable level. Also, since this disaster, the ‘acceptable level’ for human consumption/exposure has been raised. Yes, they just went ahead and raised it. So although the food may still contain levels of radiation within acceptable, it’s higher than it was 10 years ago and not something I want in my body. This is a very hot topic right now and our officials are doing everything they can to keep the lid on the seriousness of the situation, most likely to avoid widespread panic, but I’m buying wild salmon from Ireland for the time being. I do however want to mention that I appreciate your ongoing dedication to the health and well being of your readers.

    • Nicely stated. I am a big fan of the Doctor (Hmmm…. sounds like Dr. Who), and I still agree with you: the did just go ahead and raise the limit — poof — like that means it’s safe.
      I don’t think it’s helpful to freak out, and I do think our own Atlantic Farm-raised fish is grossly mishandled, abused, and polluted — I would eat wild Alaskan seafood and fish, but frankly, I think we’re all exposed to so much pollution of every kind, every day, that we are going to have to substantially change our world and our business practices, in terms of food and air and water pollution, before we are going to start having “normal” levels of risk again. Still: me love the Doctor, and I think your comment here, Stephanie was respectfully and truthfully stated, in a kind, non-combative way.

  3. While this might be true that the overall risk level is low, don’t rely on the international dose limit – they can and do adjust this number higher if needed.

  4. Kris, I think you are doing a dis-service to your readers. Tons of radiation/nuclear waste is being poured into the pacific on a daily basis for the past 2 1/2 years since the Fukushima disaster, with no end in sight. How can you continue to recommend pacific fish to your readers?? Your “research article” is based on levels from Aug 2011 (5 months from the disaster). At that point in time the levels may have been safe. Fast forward 2 years, with continued radiation leaking into the ocean, and the story drastically changes. You can eat the seafood if you want but I’m gonna stay away and I’m definitely going to recommend my patients stay away. I hope your readers have more sense than to believe what you have written. You have done poor research in this case. I hope none of you patients get sick based on YOUR recommendations. Common sense should tell you to stay away from seafood from that area. Very disappointed in your so called expertise.

    • You have provided no evidence to support your claims. If you have evidence supporting the idea that eating seafood from the Pacific exposes us to harmful levels of radiation, I’d love to see it.

      • Do you honestly believe there would be public evidence of my statements?? It would cause mass panic and unrest. I don’t need evidence. I use my common sense. Evidence doesn’t over-rule common sense. Evidence is man-made. Common sense is God-given. Who do you trust?

        • I find it very disturbing that there aren’t hundreds of government and private researchers out there studying this and providing in depth research. This fact alone is my basis for a massive cover-up. Consider, most scientific research is paid for by ” the powers that be ” and it’s those same sources of money that have the most to lose from telling us that we have a real problem on our hands. So this is my take, I’m going with the assumption that our government, who we KNOW lies to us on a daily basis, is feeding us a load of bull. As of today, there are no government studies being done! It is a fact crustaceans are dying along the coast and that abnormal die offs are occurring. If you still can’t ask yourself why these issues aren’t being looked at extensively, you must have your head buried in sand.

          • Except that there are hundreds of government and private researchers out there studying this and providing in depth research. But since you and Silas have decided to automatically filter out any results that don’t already match your viewpoint, I suppose it would appear to you that nothing is being done.

            It’s part of the typical conspiracy theory fallacy, “Lack of proof for my point of view is proof my point of view is correct, because if I was correct then for [insert reason here] no proof would be published.” In formal terms, if P implies Q, and Q is true, you’re trying to imply P is true. It’s called the fallacy of the converse, and it’s an incorrect application of logic. In this case, P is “There is a conspiracy”, Q is “there is no proof” and your fallacy is all wrapped up in a nice tidy bow.

        • Here here Sila where has our common sense gone off too? I also agree that radiation from the sun is not the same as what comes from the radioactive chemicals from a nuclear reactor melt down. As I said in my post (waaay) above. Common sense is what I am choosing to listen to here. Watch in two years time when the tune changes as it often does with those charged with “protecting” this world. Industry comes first always. It is only after the fact that truth comes out. When it is so obvious that it can no longer be denied. For many people it will be too late then.

          The oceans are polluted…of this we can be sure. So the life trying to sustain itself within that pollution is naturally…polluted! It is not rocket science. If you eat things that exist in a polluted environment you get a bit of that every time you it eat. It builds up over time and in most cases the cause can never be traced back to a source. We can’t totally protect ourselves from all of the pollution in this world but let us not make it worse by not taking common sense precautions.

      • I think Silas has raised an excellent point re: the (nearly) three years of radiation contamination on Pacific seafood.
        And perhaps we should reverse *your* question, Chris: Do you have data more recent than 2011 on the safety of fish/other seafood/seaweed that have grown or passed through Pacific Ocean waters?

      • Actually.. I don’t believe you have any credible evidence either.. you stated and I quote: “To date, I haven’t seen any credible evidence suggesting that there’s even a minuscule risk from eating fish caught in the Pacific ocean. (Please respond in the comments section if you’re aware of any such evidence).” They have “raised” the acceptable levels of radiation that humans can take in (they have to because they are exposing us to so much)People have WAY more health problems than ever before (even upon birth–how does that happen when you’ve been in the womb for 9 months.. OBVIOUSLY whatever toxins your mother has been taking in/exposed to).. There hasn’t been long enough time for anyone to study the long term effects of fukushima but common sense must prevail. Not supposed to drink chlorine bleach yet its in our drinking water…

      • I understand Chris, that you base your research on what governments want to publish. Don’t forget that media and governments say whatever they want us to hear…not more and not less. Unless you actually are a scientist specialized in radiation or your source is a close friend studying this matter, you and we have no clue what the danger really is.

        Shall I remind you what happened overseas in Europe after the Chernobyl disaster ? The French government for example had the media say to everyone that there were no risk, that the radioactive cloud didn’t cross the border. 16 years later, the truth came up…and so did a lot of thyroid cancers.

        It is naive to think that the Fukushima disaster let the ocean safe. It has been leaking since the disaster occurred and is still leaking no matter what the Japanese are saying. It is (and that comes from a friend of mine who is a nuclear engineer) impossible to control such a leak.

        However, I believe in the USA that you have much more to worry about than the radioactive fishes…beginning with all the fruits and vegetables kindly provided to you by Monsanto. Unfortunately if you start eating what’s safe only, you won’t have a lot to eat….

        Greetings from NZ

      • This is not exactly a reply (I just didn’t know where else to put it). Back in the 1950’s, atomic bombs were being set off on a regular basis in Nevada. My dad taught physics and had a Geiger Counter he would use to measure the amount of radiation fall-out in Sacramento. The amount was alarmingly high. We worried about drinking milk from cows who ate contaminated grass. (Strontium 90?) Well, I’m 75 now and don’t have cancer even though I drink milk.

  5. Interesting data… it still makes me uneasy about eating food out of such polluted waters. But what can you do? Getting extremely difficult to find clean food these days.

  6. Kris,
    You’re implying here that all forms of radiation are the same (or at least, have the same effects on health), that radioactive K-40 (in bananas) has the same effects on health as cesium-134 and cesium-137. That may or may not be the case; I don’t know.
    I do find it curious that the benchmark of harm you use is fatal cancers (compared to nonfatal cancers, or other types of disruptions to cellular or systemic function), when even the NAS study you quote acknowledges that “uncertainties remain regarding the assessment of cancer risk at low doses of ionizing radiation to humans.”
    Finally, this issue is also about adding to our body burden of radiation, not simply comparing one level of radiation exposure to another and feeling better that bananas and long-distance airline flights expose us to radiation, too. That’s something you don’t address, unfortunately.

    • Good points Angela.
      So far with everything I’ve researched I will not eat fish(from any water source as it’s all polluted whether is Fukushima, corexit in the Gulf etc;) nor seaweed nor tea from Japan anymore. It’s simply not worth the risk.

    • I was about to post something similar but just in the form of a wiki excerpt

      “The validity of the banana equivalent dose concept has been challenged. Critics, including the EPA,[9] pointed out that the amount of potassium (and therefore of 40K) in the human body is fairly constant because of homeostasis,[10] so that any excess absorbed from food is quickly compensated by the elimination of an equal amount.[1][11]
      It follows that the additional radiation exposure due to eating a banana lasts only for a few hours after ingestion, namely the time it takes for the normal potassium contents of the body to be restored by the kidneys. The EPA conversion factor, on the other hand, is based on the mean time needed for the isotopic mix of potassium isotopes in the body to return to the natural ratio after being disturbed by the ingestion of pure 40K; which was assumed by EPA to be 30 days.[9] If the assumed time of residence in the body is reduced by a factor of ten, for example, the estimated equivalent absorbed dose due to the banana will be reduced in the same proportion.
      These amounts may be compared to the exposure due to the normal potassium content of the human body, 2.5 g per kg,[12] or 175 grams in a 70 kg adult. This potassium will naturally generate 175 g × 31 Bq/g ≈ 5400 Bq of radioactive decays, constantly through the person’s adult lifetime.”

    • If we look at this issue from an ancestral perspective, it would seem that actual ingestion of particles from man-made nuclear fuel would pose a much greater risk than background exposure to ionizing radiation we all evolved with. And a majority of background radiation is to what nuclear physicists even call Primordial Nuclides:

      “most (if not all) isotopes were abundant at the creation of the Earth 4.6 billion years ago and the only ones left are the ones with long (~billions of years) half-lives. These are the so-called primordial nuclides.”

      http://www.nuc.berkeley.edu/node/4920#comment-13971
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primordial_nuclide

      Also, these measurements are only tracking Cesium 134 and 137 isotopes, with no mention of Plutonium or Strontium 90, both of which were released in the Fukushima disaster. So I don’t think we have enough information yet to declare total safety. I would advocate expanded testing instead.

      • Peter,
        Thanks for this. And I didn’t even consider the plutonium or stronium-90 releases–curious that the article Chris cited doesn’t–I don’t think—even mention these.
        I appreciate, too, your comments re evolution and background radiation from ” primordial nuclides” and that from “manmade” nuclear materials.

        • Angela. I’m not trying to gang up on Chris here because I know he does his homework and I trust him more than just about any other source. In fact, I was actually quite relieved to read his take on this. But as much as I’d like to relax, I’m concerned there just isn’t adequate testing being done on fish, or the bulk of products imported from the region. I also suspect that numbers are being fudged, if not a full out black-market for contaminated goods.

          I also didn’t mean to imply that naturally occurring radiation was safe, just that it might be hard to draw conclusions based on that alone.

          • Thank you for your comments. I too respect the majority of Chris’ opinions. If I ever need consult a health professional to hone in on stubborn health issues, I will definitely consult with Chris. However in this area, I think he is incorrect.

  7. Your recommendations are only valid if the science behind them is valid, but I am wary of the scientists and officials who are telling us the radiation levels are safe. It is pretty clear that the Japanese government has gone to great lengths to try to hide the extent of the radiation released from Fukushima and lied to its citizens in the process. That deceit alone makes me question other people of authority telling us everything is a-okay. I find Helen Caldicott to have very interesting things to say on this matter and I would think twice before telling people they have nothing to worry about. The Soviet Union told its people they would be okay after Chernobyl. You might dislike sites you consider fear mongering but thanks to the internet and free exchange of information today’s consumers have the choice whether to believe what authorities are telling them to believe.

  8. The paranoia about the wild fish drives me crazy. I’m not saying contamination hasn’t occured but it’s very hard to imagine that eating CAFO meats would somehow be safer than eating wild fish. I live in the Arctic and we definitely have contaminnats in our wild food, but they are still FAR healthier than most of the farmed animals that people in the south are consuming. There are no bubbles of uncontaminated food on this planet, but we need to make the best decisions with what we have available. Use our brains instead of being ruled by fear and propaganda.

  9. I know I may look a bit paranoid, but I have a geiger counter at home and when I am not 100% sure of the origin of my ingredients, I do a quick check (seaweed and fish of course, but also game meat and coconut products).
    So far, the only thing that has proven to be radioactive in my house are the energy saving light bulbs 😉

    • Geiger counter will not be able to pick up small amounts of cesium 137, Iodine 131, among other radioactive Isotopes. Unfortunately all it takes is a small amount for said Isotopes to cause thyroid cancer or cancers in your GI tract.

  10. Chris, have you looked into Japanese green tea contamination? I’ve wondering about from the reports I’ve read and since green leafy vegetables are sensitive to absorbing any radioactive fallout.

    http://diversejapan.com/2012/05/04/tests-results-for-radioactive-cesium-in-shizuoka-prefecture-green-tea/
    http://diversejapan.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/shizuoka-tea-test-results.pdf
    http://www.pref.shizuoka.jp/sangyou/sa-340/20110520_test_results_radio_activity.html

    I love my Matcha and Sencha, but admit to cutting back over concerns.

    • Not a single reference in that article about safety of consuming contaminated seafood. The question isn’t whether radiation is still being released into the ocean (it is), it’s whether eating seafood will expose us to harmful levels of radiation. (It won’t.) That article quotes Natural News, which is a fear mongering site that rarely (if ever) provides legitimate references. It also makes several claims for which it provides no credible evidence. Not at all convincing.

      • I have learned that plutonium is now in the pacific ocean, air and soil and drinking water. Plutonium is the nastiest among all the radiations. It comes in extremely tiny molecules and not detected by gieger counters.
        What is your view on this.

        Melly

        • Plutonium is a pretty big atom. And it releases Alpha radiations, which are easily detected by geiger counters.

          Anyway, we detonated dozens of atomic bombs over and even in the oceans in the last decades and everything was fine, omnivores could eat fish and vegans were happy with spirulina and wakame algae. Now the problem is some contaminated water leaking from a power plant?

        • Melly, plutonium is NOT radiation. It’s a chemical element that EMITS radiation. Geiger counters don’t detect molecules, so their sizes don’t matter. Geiger counters detect “the emission of nuclear radiation — alpha particles, beta particles, and gamma rays.”

          Plutonium is a particularly bad source of radiation to ingest because it can accumulate in the bones, and its half-life is about 80 million years.

          • “Plutonium” ( chemical element ) doesn’t have a half-life. Particular ISOTOPES of Plutonium have half-lives. The most common isotope of Plutonium created by nuclear power plants and bombs is Pu-239 which has a half-life of 24,100 years; not 80 million. Only the Pu-244 isotope has a half-life of 80 million years; but that isotope is very rarely produced by reactors and bombs. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium-244

        • I’m sure you probably think there’s nothing wrong with GMO’s and Monsanto too. And the cancer industry is all good too? We are all being brainwashed by the powers that be and it’s obviously working. I have been fighting cancer for over two years now and did a whole lot of research. It left me horrified at how deceitful, dishonest and corrupt our whole system is. It is NOT about our health at all. It’s all about money and how “they” can make the most. We can only rely on our own knowledge and common sense. There is no evidence out there that isn’t backed by a corrupt and dishonest system!

          • Caroline-I hear everything you’re saying…medical care/ Healthcare in this country is only interested in treating cancer, not curing. And only because there is no money to be made in telling people a cure is available. There definitely is one….. But if it doesn’t generate the same or more cash flow that current cancer treatments the medical community would be out of business, & obviously they won’t have that.

            • I can’t believe that. There are too many people who actually care about our health. If there were a cure we would know about it!

          • You are so right Caroline…we have been brainwashed to the point of stupidity, en masse.
            The bottom line is the profit the corporations are making on us. I am sorry you have been caught in the machine….I wish you good health and continuing common sense!

      • Hey Chris, why are you bashing the Natural News site?? Mike Adams is trying to protect his fellow man. You are telling people to eat Pacific seafood and mercury laden fish. Very childish attack.

    • Roxanna, those very worried about the radioactivity they find in food with Geiger Counters objectively have cause for concern, but problem is they rarely dig deeper to see if they can their definite and conclusive-sounding claims backed up by the lab tests, which are essential, absolutely required for the conclusions they make. I had the same concern and actually had samples tested. Over 3,000 Bq/kg in kelp, and I recommend eating it, here’s why:

      http://allegedlyapparent.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/why-150-bq-cs-137-is-health-hazardous-while-150-bq-k-40-is-recommended-for-health/

  11. Chris,
    Would the same apply to the seaweed from Japan? Are there any reasons to be concerned about consuming kelp noodles or nori?
    Thanks.

    • As far as I’ve seen, contamination of marine biota is well below recommended limits even at fairly high levels of consumption. In the article, I mentioned that you’d have to eat 1/3 a pound of even the most highly contaminated, bottom-feeding fish to get close to the international limit for radiation in food.

      • Well, they often conveniently raise limits of toxins just to keep the market open. Please cite your sources. Thank you.

        • Thank you Steven, well said!
          Yes dear blogger who claims ingesting radioactive fish with isotopes from Fuckusallshima’s explosions and continuing meltdowns are safe…
          Give some credibility and cite your sources.

      • Who but a baby eats so little? We in Alaska LIVE ON FISH. 1/3 lb for a meal? you’ve got to be kidding.

      • Correct, Chris. The levels are not lethal – yet. But because of the steady increase of radiation into the ocean the levels are rising. Albeit a click or two at a time, but we must keep a vigilant eye on this. Remember Radiation is accumulative. It will not go away in your lifetime. You get to keep what you get … Therein lies the rub.

      • Chris, I think the idea behind your views in this article and in general is that by far the single greatest factor we all suffer from is that the Western diet is unhealthy. I suspect you recognize we’re in a ‘world of poop’ here, but that eating the fish you’re recommending will be a positive thing in one’s life. I, for one, welcome and appreciate your views and hope you have great success promoting them. I’ve been searching the right diet since 1980 and am quite hopeful with what I’m learning from you and others this past year or two. But for the very priviledged or simply wealthy, or the naive, I wonder what type of diet is available. I mean the diet that has zero risks and total nutrition. Probably superior above all others. Actually, forget I asked, I’m not interested.

    • I’d like to know what was in this article that was creditable!!! The pacific ocean is fried! People can be so gullible

    • Who are you?? Where do you get your info from!?!?! I can’t believe these people are falling for what you say!! Nah the fish is fine if you only eat half a bite a day….wow

      • I get my info from peer-reviewed, credible scientific research rather than unsubstantiated internet hype.

        • Chris, I can’t believe you are sticking to your guns on this one. The media is LYING about the effects of Fukushima. It seems you have been bought out by Big Pharma or some other government agency. Keep spreading the dis-information and I’ll keep telling people to stay away from your advice. I’m just curious, how much did they pay you?

          • Chris Kresser the article you wrote is extremely misleading. It is not just about radiation exposure. You intake one microscopic particle of Cesium 137 or Iodine 131 and you have cancer 3-10 years down the line. Also there is no safe amount of radiation. Citing Government funded studies is disingenuous to all of your readers. You do realize after Chernobyl happened multiple Government and the IAEA covered up the real effects for 30 years, while thousands were dying? That was just one reactor that was contained fairly quickly. This is 4 reactors that have had zero percent containment since day one……Use some common sense.

            • Jon, there is a safe level of radiation exposure. We are exposed to it all the time. In this case, I must agree with Dr. Kresser. What matters is the amount of radiation we are exposed to plus the permanence of any radiation due to the radioactive isotopes embedding themselves in our bodies.

              That said, Dr. Kresser, I do look at your research askanse. Polonium 210, the most common variant of this radioactive metaloid, has a half life of just over 138 days (other isotopes can have longer half lives). It is found mostly in Uranium ore deep beneath the ground and is not normally accessable. It is highly unlikely that there would be any traceable amount of that isotope in the oceans through natural means, though I do concede that an ore could be exposed to the waters of the world either by river flow or by geological activity it would still be quite rare. The fact that you indicate levels of Polonium found are at about 600 times the levels Cesium found indicate that the levels of Polonium are at somewhat more than traceable levels. That indicates a radioactive decay from a uranium based fuel, not a natural flow due to a river. Your statement actually adds fuel to the fire and indicates, quite strongly, that your research and analysis is flawed and that there is more going on than realized.

              • This is not quite accurate. The measurement of Pollonium 210 in the environment has been widely studied in the hepatopancreas of Krill. In 1984, the level of Po 210 in Antarctic Krill (Euphasia superba) was found to be 54 picocuries per gram dry weight. If we can find a recent measure of Po 210 in Pacific Krill, we can make a more unbiased assessment of the situation.

            • “there is no safe amount of radiation”

              You know the sun is spewing unfathomable amounts of radiation out into our solar system at all times right?

            • You do realize that it hasn’t even been 30 years since Chernobyl happened, don’t you? If the effects had been covered up for 30 years, we wouldn’t have heard about it. And yet I can remember hearing about the effects pretty much since it happened.

              Less hype and more facts, please.

        • This from VOA:
          http://www.voanews.com/content/fukushima-radiation-traced-in-pacific-seafood/1777465.html
          This peer reviewed paper:
          http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/3/034004/

          These tell a different story.
          While you talk of radiation and dose, you ignore the real danger from ingestion of hot particles and do not differentiate between the two.
          This is the bait and switch that those who wish to down play the risk are doing. It is, in essence, a straw man argument; while your analysis may be correct, the underlying premise that is posited is defective.
          In your case you do not address the ingestion of hot particles. Your analysis just deals with the radiation dose received from handling and passing the emitter through your digestion. You do not address what happens when the emitter, whether a particle of cesium, iodine, calcium or one of the many radioactive isotopes released are incorporated into your flesh.
          Yes, you do receive a dose from the irradiated flesh of the fish while handling it and digesting it, but your obviously assuming that all radioactive particles are being passed out of your digestive system giving a one time dose.
          What is left out is the constant dose when a hot particle is incorporated into the flesh; it is not in contact with the flesh and evacuated out the bowel or through the urine, it is the flesh, permanently, giving a constant dose closer than contact, and accumulates, and only rendered harmless when it’s decay is complete.
          The dose received from the incorporation a of an emitter into the fiber of your body is not the same as a dose received from an emitter just passing through or in proximity to your body.
          Truly, distance and time is life.. the further away you are and the less time you are exposed the better. There is no escaping the an emitter incorporated into your body.

        • Yeah, Chris, I can’t believe you don’t buy into unmitigated disaster-mongering! surely you’re a big pharma plant! or an FDA counter-intel agent!

        • What sources? Specifically? If you get them from scientific sources why are they not noted? There is so much conjecture it is hard to know what is the truth and what is not. Both sides believe they are right. Where is the scientific evidence?

        • Chris, Chris, Chris….. Here is a direct quote from another article you wrote:

          “I’ll be the first to admit that ‘lack of evidence is not evidence against'”

          So it seems you are at conflict with your own thoughts. The “lack of evidence” that you mention in this post really doesn’t matter, especially when YOUR first priority is do no harm. Time to use some common sense on the seafood issue, Chris.

  12. Most of our seafood comes from the Gulf. While I trust it more than fish from Asia, I wonder how clean the water is now. Do you have a credible source for assessing Gulf seafood?

  13. Thanks! I’ve been wondering about this, but haven’t wanted to panic after reading some of those articles. Thanks for breaking down the nitty gritty. Now, off to have some tuna!

      • That is the only thing that might save them. We need a moratorium on fishing to let the populations back. This might do it!

        • over-fishing ?? i caught like 5 in 30years life. and my friends and families probably the same. only few companies (owned by one person) over taken millions fishes and makes tons of money. for normal person, need to pay nearly $50 fishing permit for just 1 or few fish.. idk if the gov’t ask those companies to pay for fishing in the ocean.

          • Aiden, Your comment is anecdotal – what micro-community do you live in? So what if you personally have caught 5 fish. The problem goes beyond the amount of fish caught, it’s the resultant destruction of the ecosystems and flora and fauna from intensive fishing practices that are reducing the viability of the world’s oceans. Our marine areas are in decline and it’s a proven scientific fact! For Chris to end his article on this point blows his argument out of the water – pardon the pun.
            His quote ” If there’s any risk you should be concerned about when it comes to fish, it’s the risk of not eating enough!” Risk??? What unfounded, unscientific nonsense. I haven’t eaten marine based products in over 10 years and I’m in very good health and still here. Homo Sapiens are a terrestrial species, therefore we have evolved without the need to eat marine species. All of the omega oils etc can be found in land-based food sources, sure not in the same densities, but omega oils are not primarily responsible for good health!

            So let’s eat more fish then Chris, given the world’s exploding population and ongoing overfishing, then we will be in a real risk of having no fish.

            • If you don’t get Omega fish oil you need to eat grass fed meet. That is how humans got their DHA/EPA and CLA before we started stuffing them with grains. Also, land locked (from the ocean) people got plenty of fish from lakes and streams.

                • Roman
                  “Humans are able to produce DHA and EPA from plant EFAs.”

                  Not in the quantities necessary for optimum health. Also this assumes the person eating the plant sources is in optimum health to begin with.
                  Vegetarians and vegans are usually deficient in EPA and DHA.
                  Very low n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid status in Austrian vegetarians and vegans.
                  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18305382

    • The problem with this is the type and source of radiation. A radioactive fish will contain radioactive iodine. which will go right to your thyroid and cause cancer. If you are at risk to cancers, in the family, any radioactive material in you puts you at risk. The half life of this is centuries, these is no safe amount. The EMF and sun light radiation s no comparison. You want your children put at risk for cancer in 10 to 40 years? Because this kind of radioactive material will put them at risk. I have no doubt the governments will not give the truth of the risks. I will be up to us to find out. My guess is that researchers will do tests and publish them and then the government will say OK we did not know!

      • I certainly agree, Kevin. As an x-ray tech for many years it is common knowledge that radiation is accumulative. (that’s why we all wear radiation badges) I live in Alaska and I love my fish, and I like Chris’s approach to health – most of the time. But you are definitely right here. He needs to catch up on the latest news from sources other than those that support the FDA.

        • You can rid your body of radiation with an infrared sauna. Radiated cells are weak and easily are killed with the heat from an infrared sauna. Of course, you must do it daily for a few years, but you can rid your body of radiation, which is a very common problem in our society, not only from fish. You can read more on my blog post about infrared saunas and their benefits: http://www.liveto110.com/infrared-saunas/

          • Wendy, thank you for this information! I followed the link you provided and I feel so much better about the health risks now. The article is written so well and in laymen terms. All of It makes complete sense to me. I have been trying to pull together information to provide to people who are concerned about mitigating the illnesses that are more frequent and more severe as our environment becomes more toxic. This is awesome – again, THANK YOU!!

            • This is snake oil, not legit. These do nothing for you to get rid of any “toxins” in your body, radioactive or not.

              • Silly
                “This is snake oil, not legit. These do nothing for you to get rid of any “toxins” in your body, radioactive or not.”

                Sauna as a valuable clinical tool for cardiovascular, autoimmune, toxicant- induced and other chronic health problems.
                http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21951023
                “Overall, regular sauna therapy (either radiant heat or far-infrared units) appears to be safe and offers multiple health benefits to regular users. ”

                A number of medical studies point to the benefits of saunas.

                • “Alternative medicine review.” Just because it’s on PubMed does NOT mean your paper is reputable source!

        • I read that seafood from south of the equator does not contain radiation from Fukushima. So we are only taking Antarctic Krill supplements. Does anyone have a comment on this?

          • Susan
            There is much less mixing of the North and South Pacific than East and West Pacific.
            However to say there is none would be false.
            IT will spread slowly but it is happening.

      • Have to agree with Kevin. Just been looking through our tins of Pacific Tuna, Mackerel and not forgetting Pilchards, and decided to bin them. Why take a chance! Everything is stacked against us in this life so why make it worse. Of course they will say its ok to eat, they’ve got to think of their profits. They don’t give two f***s whether your dead or dying of cancer years down the line. How are you going to prove you got cancer from the fish you’ve eaten years ago! I was talking to an electrical wholesaler last week, who said that here in the UK at the docks, a shipment of brass fittings from India were heavily radioactive. In India, every bit of metal they got their hands on ended up in the smelting pot!

        • Who are “they”..and if there’s a “they”, won’t “they” get sick, too? Why would any corporation say that it’s okay to eat fish when it’s likely most (if not all) of them eat it as well?

          • Are you for real? Why would a corporation, run for profit above all else care about their products potential effects ? You think john west executives eat tinned tuna? I wouldn’t eat any of the crap in most supermarkets if I earned thousands of dollars a week..

        • Wait, what do you mean when you say ,” … in the UK at the docks, a shipment of brass fittings from India were heavily radioactive. In India, every bit of metal they got their hands on ended up in the smelting pot!?” What do you mean to say about the metal? Why does it have so much radiation? Is everything from India highly radioactive in your opinion? What other countries have this same problem? “The World is a Ghetto!” If you have never heard that song by the original group, I think War, check it out for sure! Thank you kindly for considering my perhaps silly question?

      • Did you even READ the article. It says ALL food has some amount of radiation and toxins. Which means ANY radiation from food that has never been exposed to Fukushima will go straight to your thyroid and cause cancer. So we would be ALL dead fromcancer just by eating even Organic foods…

        • there is a difference between ionizing and non ionizing radiation, non ionizing radiation is from sun and such, ionizing is from xrays etc. Its the ionizing radiation which knocks DNA components from the DNA causing mutations, not non ionizing radiation. I really dont know why this is not common knowledge and people think its all the same type of radiation.

      • Imagine if you will a family with small children living in Nevada 60 miles east, and later south, of the testing of atomic weapons in the years 1953-1957. There is a radiation calculator for that. You got much more than other populations in the US. I always wondered about my risk, and then I developed suspicious thyroid nodules in adulthood which caused me to lose half my thyroid and to develop a hypothyroid condition. Thyroid nodules were in my case benign, but some benign ones are signs of precursors of worse. Was this caused by my exposure in early childhood? Did my brother, who died at birth in 1953 (after several big dirty blasts), due to poor lung development lose his chance at life because we lived so near the testing? Are kids near Chernobyl growing up with problems? Nobody followed my family. They did track kids who remained living in the area, especially in Utah, and they found thyroid problems at a much earlier age than they should have them, with nodules such as those found in Chernobyl and which Japanese children may develop.

        So do I trust my government to monitor fish? Why should I? I can already see they are equating radioactive cesium exposure (which incorporates cesium into growing bones) with flying a plane. That is an indicator of a lie – and really an unnecessary one. But when lying is what you do well, then you cannot stop practicing it.

      • I agree with your comment thank you for your common sense. Chris suggests “peer reviewed research” when deciding about the safety of our oceans and although the verdict on Fukashima is still out according to the Woods Hole Oceanic research center (they themselves are saying they do not actually know just how much radiation was released while at the same time advising us that fish is safe to eat and that cessium and iodine are diluted enough by the time it gets to US and Canadian shores to make fish safe to eat). So are they trying to tell us that they know exactly where every fish has swam? That fish is not just from that area, fish get around! We canniot test every last fish or eveyr last piece of plankton.

        According to the State of the Ocean report from Ocean.org a research group from Europe we cannot take only Fukashima into account. Global climate change, high mercury levels, atmospheric pollution in addition to the Fukashima disaster does not leave me feeling one bit safe about eating anything coming out of the Pacific or the gulf for that matter. Oil spills have contaminated the gulf for years

        The State of the Ocean Research has this to say:
        “Decreasing oxygen levels in the ocean caused by climate change and nitrogen run-off, combined with other chemical pollution and rampant overfishing are undermining the ability of the ocean to withstand these so-called ‘carbon perturbations’, meaning its role as Earth’s ‘buffer’ is seriously compromised.”

        Advising us to eat more fish is unwise…period. Chris Kessler cannot know for a fact that the fish is safe and the accumulation of toxins in our oceans are at abominable levels. Eat fish in moderation if you wanna avoid illness down the road. It is simply common sense. I don’t care what governments or scientists say…there is much they will not be able to quantify and fish are not stagnant creatures, they swim all over the place collecting toxins from oil spill dispersants, high mercury levels, atmospheric pollution, farming chemicals, AND radioactivity. Do the math….fish is not safe to eat in large amounts.

      • Thank you Kevin! I agree with you totally. People… use common sense on this one. See my post below with research from State of the Ocean.org. (Chris wants sited “research” right?? Well there you are Chris read it and weep.

        FISH IS NOT SAFE TO EAT PEOPLE. Just think about it for a second. We are not “only” dealing with Fukashima. We are dealing with a host of contaminations over decades and the oceans can no longer mitigate the destruction. Fish are turning up mutated and sick all over the place. Go ahead, eat more fish, and as all that junk accumulates in your dna, in your fat, blood and bones and makes you sick 5 or 10 years down the road, who will trace it to the fish then? How can we really know what this sick sea life is doing to us?? We simply cannot know but we can use common sense.

        • People, animals, & plants are turning up sick & mutated all over Earth but we still eat them.

          We even go to such lengths as to spend trillions of dollars on creating mutants through genetic engineering & cloning all over the world.

          I think that ocean life is more suited to deal with the toxins in the water than we are to deal with the concentrated toxins from the ocean life.

      • I agree..we only know what they want us to know. Fish is dangerous to consume and will stay that way in my lifetime…..I love fish! And I am extremely angry about the contamination of our oceans.

      • Check your facts, Half life of radioactive iodine (isotope 131) is about 8 days. Most people have a wildly exaggerated and unrealistic fear of radiation due to ignorance and this type of misinformation.

        • chemvironmentalist, is it your belief that radioactive iodine is the only contaminant there?

      • I totally agree!! Nobody knows. I’ll protect myself from the risk which is uncertain for now.

      • Thank you Kevin. The type of radiation to which one is exposed is a critical factor in this.
        Salt is radioactive.
        Salt substitute is radioactive.
        Bananas are radioactive.
        There is radiation when you fly.

        However, all radiation is NOT created equal. The thyroid gland requires iodine to function properly. Iodine -131 is readily absorbed into the tissues of the thyroid and this is why persons, in areas where there has been a release of this isotope, are given rather large doses of iodine in order to saturate their thyroid and minimize the chance of their absorbing this harmful form of iodine. Those with iodine deficiency inn such an case, would be at great risk for uptake of the Iodine -131 and at substantially elevated risk for thyroid cancer (as evidenced by the increase in thyroid cancer post Fukashima.)

        And that, due to its very brief half life of 8.02 day, is the LEAST harmful of radiation we are dealing with from the reactor.

        Cesium-137, strontium-90, and plutonium-239 may be the most significant among these due to their persistence and there will be no relief from their effects in your life time.

        Strontium is readily absorbed by the bone as it is biologically similar to calcium in uptake and may even replace it. What does this mean for us? How fun does leukemia sound? Well that is what we will be seeing–a dramatic rise in the incidence of bone cancers for the foreseeable future.

        If you are worried only about the fish, then you have been ill informed and here is a cold slap in the face for you. The airborne plume from Fukashima has covered the ENTIRE northern hemisphere. The Southern hemisphere was protected from contamination ONLY because of the winds of ITCZ (intertropical convergence zone) which precluded extensive mixing.

        It is not just the fish. It is also our air, surface water, both fresh and salt, our ground water, and our soil. Plants absorb this radiation and incorporate it into their leaves and fruits. Animals (ourselves included) eat the radioactive plants and bio-magnify it (meaning it accumulates and persists in our tissues and we, too become radioactive.

        Solution: Either move to the southern hemisphere to reduce your exposure (as if you are here it is a little bit late now to hope you have not ingested / inhaled the “gifts of Fukashima”)
        …or stop eating, drinking and breathing for the next 600 (six-hundred) years or so.

        Bottom line —

        The time to worry about radioactive pollution was yesterday. It is a fact of life now for those of us who have no choice but to live in the northern hemisphere. If you are like most human beings, you must eat and drink to stay alive. You are going to ingest radioactive particles. Keep your exposure as low as you can to reduce the number of bullets in the revolver we are all playing Russian Roulette with against our will. But don’t think for a moment you are not already a participant in this.

        We have, all of us, already been poisoned. Many of us will–eventually–succumb and develop cancers. Some of us will die from them, some of us won’t. 100% of us will die though because…life is fatal. So what the hell. Eat your radioactive salmon with a side of radioactive spinach salad.

        I am a nameless nobody on the internet. I can tell you I am a biologist, but you don’t know if that is true or not. So let me point you all in the direction of a fine lady. Nobel Peace Prize winner Helen Caldicott M.D. taught medicine at Harvard University. The Smithsonian Institution named Dr. Caldicott as one of the most influential women of the 20th century. She is very informed and highly outspoken with regard to the subject of nuclear radiation. Look her up, listen to her speaking about Fukashima and I think you will find she agrees with what I’ve said.

        “Nuclear power is a hell of a way to boil water.”
        — Albert Einstein

        http://www.helencaldicott.com/

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSIKF29t8pM

        http://www.linktv.org/video/6986/dr-helen-caldicott-on-fukushima-and-the-perils-of-nuclear-power

        • Very well said. 99% of humans are clueless to what Fukushima and the rest of the Nuke Devils have imploded upon us.

      • Re: Radiation Buildup will lead to cancer. Apparently, nobody know this, and so “they” keep after women to get their yearly mammograms. So after 5 or 10 years, they discover (DUH) … cancer!! Golly, gosh.

        In my 75 years, I have never gotten a mammogram, nor do I ever plan to get one, thank you.

        • This is terrible advice.

          I didn’t get mammograms, I don’t have cancer. Some people who get mammograms get cancer. Therefore, mammograms must be at fault for the cancer.

          This is a fallacious argument. Cum hoc ergo propter hoc.

          • Latin is a dead language. You can just say “because of this, this other thing happens” is a fallacious argument. I agree, but I don’t get mammograms either, nor have I ever had any form of cancer. I avoid doctors and I think everyone should except for emergencies. No vaccines, no mammograms, no ob/gyn check ups – nothing. My mother is 87 and never had an Ob/Gyn check up nor mammogram either. Interesting even if “fallacious” in argument.

            • you got me at “no vaccines”.

              look, you can believe whatever you want, but you are a public health risk. diseases are eradicated by herd immunity caused by vaccination – once the vaccination level goes too low, we lose herd immunity.

              some people can’t (for health reasons – allergic/too frail/too young) get vaccinated even though they want to, and people like you are ignorantly putting them at risk of coming down with an “eradicated” disease.

              mumps, measles, and rubella are on the rise ever since the (NOW DISCREDITED) study linking the MMR vaccine to autism came out.

              im a skeptical person myself (hence how i ended up on this site in the first place – was very skeptical of the alarmist paranoid drivel my friend was spewing about fish from the pacific), but it is selfish to let your unfounded skepticism harm the public.

              • Rubbish.
                I wish I’d never had any vaccines. Encephalomyelitis from a polio vaccine has stuffed my life up. I’ve had several relatives who’ve had seizures from vaccines with some lasting ill effects,
                Not everyone who gets vaccinated gets antibodies. Most carriers of disease have been vaccinated.
                The Wakefield study was not discredited – it was just a witch hunt and has been shown to be so. Other studies have replicated the results.
                Some vaccines just plain shouldn’t exist – the flu vaccine for example. Only people with seriously compromised health (usually compromised by pharmaceuticals) are at risk, and there are far better ways to reduce that risk. There is a case to be made for some vaccines, but the harm they have caused should not be ignored. Mutated strains such as the one caused by the pertussis vaccine that have resulted in about ten times the number of whooping cough cases.
                Simian viruses such as SV40 (cancer anyone?) introduced into the human population. And so on…

                • Nicely summarized about the vaccine b.s.! I was never the same after I had a tetanus/diptheria vaccine. 2 months of fever and malaise; missed weeks of work, but the dr said no, couldn’t be from the vaccine.

                  A month later, I met another who came down with the same symptoms… after receiving tetanus/diptheria shot at a different dr. Her doctor also refused to report the symptoms back to the manufacturer…. Why not? Because those symptoms hadn’t been reported before….. yes, and this is the kind of logic in place. Can’t be a symptom from this (possibly contaminated) batch, because they weren’t reported before.. hence, why vaccines and the side effects on the reports can’t be trusted. Doctors brainwashed that their almighty pharmaceuticals are perfect and don’t cause problems.

                  Was told years later, probably was diptheria symptoms. Eventually, I became mercury poisoned from eating fish and amalgams, both of which our gov’t approves and says is safe… and this was PRE-Fukishima. Have never recovered from all the damage it has done to mitochondria, my digestive system and my heart.

                  So, yes, go ahead and eat all the fish you want, but remember AFTER you find out you are mercury poisoned, you’ll find out how hard it is to find a doctor who even knows HOW to test you properly (NOT a blood test, because mercury quickly moves into fatty organs), let alone treat you without releasing mercury back into your body to be re-absorbed into your brain.

    • Be careful. Its different kinds of radiation….not to mention its concentrated into small particles. One particle, if ingested, can begin mutating your cells on an atomic level. Only on cell needs to become malignant to start cancer. And the gestation period is 3-5 years. Be warned.

    • What is your expertise, Do you have a degree in Radiation Physics? There was a total meltdown of 2 reactors and the spent fuel rods melted into the sea and a year and a half later there is still radioactive water pouring into the pacific and the third reactor is about ready to melt down just like the first two. This is an ongoing ecological catastrophe of global proportions. To save an industry people are going to lie that the fish is safe. all the starfish are dissolving in the coast off California. the radiation half-life of cesium is over 25 years .
      This is the worst catastrophe mankind has ever seen and some say it could eventually wipe out the whole northern hemisphere but our “scientists” are arguing about global warming.
      The world needs to wake up and find brilliant minds and all the resources necessary to mitigate the effects that we all will feel. No bunker is going to be safe.

      Remember the mayor in Jaws – walking the beach after the shark attack saying the water is safe- yeah right politicians and official know what they are talking about.

        • That snopes piece was simply shedding light on a map that was circulating at the time.

          It’s not the appropriate material to debunk what she wrote.

        • Au contraire Elizabeth. She probably gets her info from blogs judging by the content. Most if not all blogs are fearmonger bullshit. The Snopes piece was just shedding light on that fact. She need not worry so much as the info she has is incorrect.

        • snopes in not infallible. They have no more access to information that any other couple hiding in their basement doing the same thing.

        • “The Pacific Ocean is an enormous place,” said Norman, who found radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power in California rainwater, milk and plants soon after the earthquake and tsunami. “There’s a lot of material between us and Japan. No matter what happens in Fukushima, it’s not going to be a problem over here.”

          …. Do I even need to point out how stupid this is? Your site lost all credibility.

          • I agree,

            I just read worldWIDE Fish are dying by the millions

            The concern is not just radiation it’s also MERCURY, bromide and you keep naming it

      • Come on now. Wipe out the whole northern hemisphere. If it really were that dangerous, you’d think the government would already be working on this alot more. X-ray is more harmful. No one cares about the radiation. I live in Japan, and eat fish caught off the coast of Japan all the time. I am fine. My insides are not dissolving and I’m still alive. Get a grip and stop buying in to all the conspiracy theories and destruction of the world theories. This will be over soon, and then you will all find something else to worry about. As of now, there is no evidence of anyone or anything being harmed from the levels of radiation.

        • Frankly, I don’t really care how long you’ll live, Spen. In fact, if you die young, it’s one less pension to pay…. Better yet, if in process you get sick and need a very expensive medical treatment, oh well…. long live our wonderful pharmaceutical industry! After all, they’re in the driver’s seat – didn’t you know?

        • Spen the Post is tellling me that you are in complete denial of your self and everyone elses actions. Its not a car crash scene, its contamination and fallout that will spread and accumilate for 100 to 1000’s of years, its ongoing and their is no Stop Watch or any conceivable scientist that can play the act of God.

      • I remember reading that starfish wasting syndrome is not at all related to Fukushima.

        Yes, Fukushima IS a horrible ecological disaster, but it does not need to be the only one causing fish deaths, starfish wasting, and sea lion deaths. The fact that this is happening around the same time period as the Fukushima crises does not mean that it was the cause; correlation is not causation.

        This can also be caused by ecological and environmental disturbances we cause all on our own, like overfishing, ocean acidification, and ocean stratification.

        Pretending that scientists are “ignoring” such a huge and obvious problem in lieu of their favorite pet projects adds nothing to the conversation but irrational disdain for people you haven’t bothered to talk to and whose subjects you likely haven’t spent more than a few minutes studying.

    • so you have heard the waters and air are safe … if 1 rod from the waist pool in reactor building 4 were to come in contact with air … there could be a fire and /or explosion and radiation enough to cover North America … and the people in charge have been lying since day one … yes! you eat the fish … its only been three years ….

    • That is a lie, period. Potassium 40 (which is in a banana) is NATURALLY OCCURRING radiation. The crap coming out of Fuku and in the pacific is man-made. Naturally occurring radiation,like from rocks, bananas, the sun are ‘homeostasis’ – meaning your body off-gasses what it doesn’t need. The crap in the ocean, if you get one atom of it in you, your body attacks and creates a tumor. Quit using that banana lie, that shows your ignorance and is insulting.