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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. 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!

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  1. Another thought… I mentioned yesterday that perhaps the body doesn’t handle these new isotopes the same way as it does naturally occurring ones. I’ve read that caesium is absorbed by the body like potassium which means it’s going to hang around for quite some time. Then there’s the half life to take into account.

    According to this article “Polonium is excreted fairly quickly, its effective half-life in the body is about 30 days (mostly due to excretion, but also due to radioactive decay).” Whereas caesium 134 has a biological half-life of 110 days which means it does a lot more damage than polonium. 137 has a longer halflife also at 70 days.

    Bluefin tuna may only have 5% of a banana but that 5% obviously goes a lot further at damaging the body than the polonium in a banana & what about the fish that’s being caught & seaweed that’s being found with hundreds of times the safe limit of radiation (bearing in mind it’s only being tested for caesium in most cases) ? I read Canada stopped testing their imports after Fukushima.

    • Cesium destroys internal organs. You think we have a heart disease epidemic, now? What until we are all ingested with cesium. The oceans will recover but too late for humanity…

  2. ‘..This time, upon discussing the acceptable level of radiation exposure for playgrounds in primary schools in Fukushima, they have calculated, guided and determined a level of “3.8μSv per hour” on the basis of “20mSv per year”. It is completely wrong to use such a standard for schools that are going to run a normal school curriculum, in which case a standard similar to usual radiation protection measurement (1mSv per year, or even in exceptional cases, 5mSv) ought to be applied, and not the one used in cases of exceptional or urgent circumstances (for two to three days, or at the most, one to two weeks). It is not impossible to use a standard, perhaps for a few months, of 10mSv per year at the maximum, if the public is rightly notified of the necessity of taking caution, and also if special measures are to be taken. But normally it is better to avoid such a thing. We have to note that it is very rare even among the occupationally exposed persons (84,000 in total) to be exposed to radiation of 20mSv per year. I cannot possibly accept such a level to be applied to babies, infants and primary school students, not only from my scholarly viewpoint but also from my humanistic beliefs.

    Just how much should one accept Corporations, governments and their ‘Scientific Advisors’ to be forthright in their advice to the public regarding such things as food, drug, radiation, GMO’s and other health threats?
    Though this is old, I don’t believe it has come up on this Forum: ’20 Millisieverts for Children and Kosako Toshiso’s Resignation’: http://www.japanfocus.org/events/view/83

    Here is a small part of the article, which explains why a Japanese Government advisor resigned because he saw major flaws in many areas, gave advice to rectify it, but was ignored:
    ‘..You rarely come across a level of 10mSv per year on the covering soil if you measure the leftover soil at a disposal site in any uranium mine (it would be about a few mSv per year at the most), so one needs to have utmost caution when using such a level. Therefore, I strongly protest the decision to use the standard of 20mSv per year for school playgrounds, and ask for revision…’.

    Resigning from such a prestigious and I should imagine highly-paid job is not a light step to take, as is witnessed by the ‘yes men’ scientists working for corporations and governments ‘toeing the line’, and going along with what suits their paymasters’ interests.

  3. I enjoyed your article a lot but isn’t it possible that the body handles these new fission nuclides from power plants completely differently to naturally occurring ones that have been around for millions of years?

    I read today that Cesium 137 is not slow acting and causes immediate damage to the heart muscles & also that lamb in the UK has not been considered safe for children since Chernobyl 28 years ago because of the caesium.

    I’d greatly appreciate any input if you’ve heard otherwise.



  4. TEPCO the negligent Japanese power company that allowed this disaster to happen by not relocating the reactor coolant generators to safe high ground after they were told to make them safe years before the disaster hit is still being negligent while lying to the people about just about anything you can think of while they continue to dump millions of gallons of radioactive poison waste into the Pacific Ocean for the fish and sea life to ingest each and every day! The radiation is building up into toxic amounts very quickly! Anyone eating Pacific fish or seafood should consider doing a radiation and heavy metal detox with the natural mineral called zeolite that has been proven to safe;y remove both radiation and heavy metals from the body! For more information on this important detox do an online search for the single word Zeolite.

  5. The example of the banana is so bad! A banana does not have ionizing radiation! Ionizing radiation is very dangerous, but the natural radiation of a banana is not ionizing so it’s totally safe. So you can’t compare a radiation contaminated tuna with a banana, that’s fools science!

  6. Fukushima’s Children are Dying:
    Plenty on the web about this; not a peep out of the MSM. Why? Is this not newsworthy? Is it ‘False Information’, to be easily debunked and laid to rest? Or does the MSM prove the old adage, ‘He who pays the piper calls the tune’, and the ‘tune’ is not one the Corporations (and their lickspittles, the ‘Government’, want to hear)?

  7. My body is highly aware when it comes to chemicals, and it knew before my intellect that significant chemical change had happened, long before radiation reports came out.

    A year to a year-and-a-half after my body noticed a change in the same Pacific salmon I had been eating successfully, articles about the radiation came out. I then realized that was what my body was noticing and responding to.

    Toxic chemicals can accumulate in the body. This tends to happen progressively as we age, and is complicated by the ever-increasing exposure to toxins in daily living.

    Even if one’s body doesn’t feel chemical impact via brain fog, sinus/ear blockage, chemical sensitivity, digestive symptoms, etc., it doesn’t mean damage isn’t being done.

  8. Whenever the word Radiation is used people are naturally worried and with good reason but the simple fact at the end of the day is who do you trust.

    It is easy to make a smear campaign and terrorize people on possibilities just like scarying a child with thoughts of a monster – it’s easy to fear the unknown but like a conspiracy theory it’s harder to cover everyone up when they have no bias reporting independent studies into known risks – so yes I do believe Government reports because Governments are made up of people in the end who for the most part make decisions for their families and you could never cover up such a conspiracy on such scale if there was irrefutable evidence. It’s like the Moon Hoaxers – there is simply too many people involved.

    I live 400 kilometres from Maralinga where back in the 1960’s the UK dropped several very large nuclear weapons and some of them very unsafe by todays standards; and radioactive isotopes blew over a large area of Australia and everyone at the time was like “we’re all gonna die” and stuff but few – IF ANY – did.. apparently this was meant to wipe out generations and be round for thousands of years but the fall out appeared limited in close proximity to the event itself. My parents lived like everyone else well into their 80’s and doesn’t appear to be any real drama there.. and they’ve eaten off this land organic produce..

    It’s easy to be fearful of the unknown – but harder to argue against facts. If thousands of people were dying why aren’t there any whistle-blowers – it’s been 3 years since the crisis and for some reason it’s only the conspirators.

    Think it over.

    • Who to trust? And you plump for the government?
      Check out ‘Gulf of Tonkin Lie’ (used to embroil US in Vietnam); WMD Lies, used to attack Iraq; cover-up of known attack plans, and date, of Japanese attack plans for Pearl Harbor, and withholding the information from Pearl Commanders (to bring US into WWII, as only 16% of US public wanted to enter WWII pre-Pearl Harbor); deliberate loading of Lusitania with explosives and ammunition, then putting it deliberately in harms way, DESPITE express warning by Germany that it was a target, to soften up US to enter WWI.
      And I suppose you believe that an aluminium Boeing can slice through thick steel beams as though they were butter (see ‘9/11: The Great American Psy-Opera’); a Boeing can disappear into an 18′ round hole in the Pentagon (see ‘Behind the Smoke Curtain: The 9/11 Pentagon Attack’); that the US has a genuine ‘War on Drugs’ (see Peter Dale Scott ‘Cocaine Politics’: Mike Ruppert ‘Crossing the Rubicon’); Terry Reed ‘Compromised’); that the 9/11 Commission Report was a genuine attempt to get to the truth (see ‘9/11 Commission Refuses to Hear Testimony of 503 First-Responder Eyewitnesses’).
      Contrary to popular belief, there were MANY 9/11 whistleblowers, but they were gagged, ‘suicided’ or had accidents, or just ignored.
      Your faith in governments is quaint, but unfortunately misguided.
      And remember the ‘Manhattan Project’ – about 125,000 workers, and no leaks!
      The US government ordered radiation monitors switched off shortly after the Fukushima ‘incident’, and raised the ‘safe’ level of radiation people could be exposed to, ‘Just Like That’, as Tommy Cooper, a deceased British comedian, used to say.
      And citizens are having to set up their own monitoring groups, as government chooses not to.
      Please check my links out; you sound genuine, albeit rather naive.

  9. Shrimp are often caught at night with lanterns put out to attract them to the light before they get scooped up into a net! However In Fukushima you can see the radiated shrimp glow under water just before they try to jump into the boat to cool down.

  10. Shrimp are often caught at night with lanterns put out to attract them to the light before they get scooped up into a net! In Fukushima you can see the radiated shrimp glow under water just before they try to jump into the boat to cool down.

  11. As TEPCO the corrupt and negligent Japanese power company continues to dump millions of gallons of toxic radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean the buildup of radiation in fish, sea life and marine animals continue! More and more people are now eating contaminated fish and seafood and the results will be cancers and future DNA mutations that will cause birth defects! Anyone concerned about their health that has been eating Pacific Ocean fish and seafood should consider doing a radiation detox with the natural mineral called Zeolite that has been proven to detox and remove both radiation and heavy metals from the body!

  12. I am posting this to show just how unreliable CDC, EPA etc. are in investigating serious dangers to health and safety:
    400 % Spike in Rare Birth Defects Near Leaking Hanford Nuclear Site: http://nsnbc.me/2014/04/24/400-spike-in-rare-birth-defects-near-leaking-hanford-nuclear-site/
    ‘CDC Epidemiologist claims Incidents are not Focused near Hanford – A Map tells Otherwise. The local Yakima Herald Republic (YHR) cites epidemiologist Mandy Stahre, who is assigned to the Washington state by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as saying that the incidents did not show up seasonably, which they probably would if the cases were tied to pesticide exposure.
    The CDC epidemiologist directly contradicts readily available evidence, claiming that the incidents are not focused near the Hanford site.
    Yakima, Benton, and Franklin are geographically straddling the leaking Hanford nuclear facility. NBCNews cites CDC epidemiologist Mandy Stahre as sort of hoping the incidents would have gone away, saying:
    “We’re really concerned about the fact that the anencephaly rates are still so high. We were sort of hoping that this may have been a statistical anomaly or would go away.”
    Genetic councilor Susie Ball is cited by YHR as saying that for birth defects like anencephaly to happen, there needs to be an overlap of both genetic and environmental factors.

    While CDC expert Mandy Stahre apparently is “puzzled” by the over 400 percent spike in the tragic birth defect, the most puzzling mystery appears to be how a CDC epidemiologist can claim that the incidents are not focused near the Hanford site. That is, presuming that a CDC official is capable of looking at a map and to locate Yakima, Benton, Franklin, and the Hanford nuclear site which is centered in between them…’

  13. It seems the benefit of fish oil has now come into question:
    Is the Fish Oil Craze Just a Bunch of Hooey After All?
    ‘..Flawed Research: It’s “Very Soft” and “Only Speculation”

    “I reviewed this original paper and it turned out to be that they actually never measured the frequency of heart disease in [Inuit],” Dr. George Fodor, the study’s lead scientist, told the CBC News.

    “They relied upon some [public health records] in Greenland, and also relied on hearsay. People told them that [heart disease] was very rare,” he added. “So this is very soft, from the point of view of science…”

  14. Chris, I am sure you will enjoy a sushi made with fish full of tumors. An hecatomb is taking place and the truth is hidden while pictures of the marine wildlife are self explanatory.

    The so called “scientists” are protecting economic interests of large corporations. Is it worth having ziliions of dollars in an irradiated world ?

  15. Chris, I cannot believe you are using the “peer reviewed” thing. Have you been keeping tabs on the alternative news reports about what has been going on and coming our way for the last 3 years? have you noticed the zillions of species that have been affected and that “no one” (who would be respected in peer review circles) can figure out why? Do you not get that information in controlled? You were recommended to me by our integrative MD. But I tell you in our metro area that the alternative health practitioners we have known and gone to for years- NONE of them were eating fish BEFORE what happened 3 years ago! Much less, now.

  16. Hey man, like so what if a nuclear reactor blew up, or if a bunch of reactors blew up, there is no evidence of any serious threats from nuclear contamination, I don’t see no Godzilla’s comin out da ocean…If there ain’t no problems from Fukishima, then let’s build more nuclear reactors and make electricity too cheap to meter, like the Government told us back in the 50’s.

    Hey kids, if you want to know if nuclear reactors are bad and dangerous try to build one next to the rich people…the only diseases you will see are from the NIMBY virus….the Not In MY Back-Yard syndrome.

    In twenty years most people in Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California will be sick and dying with cancers from Fukishima.

    In twenty years all child bearing women will have their reproductive organs contaminated with radiation from Fukishima and their babies will be born dead.

    here’s a video from Dr. Helen Caldicott:


    Living among the stupid makes death more appealing.
    When self destruction is a virtue and not a mental illness the human race cannot last long.

    As for me, I am eating everything I am not allergic to, we are all going to die from something. Some of us are going to die from stupidity and the rest of us are going to die from living.

    Make electricity too cheap to meter…build your own nuclear reactor at home now, here’s how:


  17. The article “The Ocean is Broken,” link below, is a sailor’s story about what Fukushima did to the Pacific Ocean. I would not eat fish from the Pacific. And since I cannot know where the fish, I buy, came from, and do not know if the labeling is correct, and because farmed fish is not good for you either, I decided to give up eating fish altogether.


  18. I call bull puckey on “fish being safe to eat” – Especially when what was considered a dangerous level of radiation was raised to a higher level, AFTER fukashima, therefor, making everyone magically not sick or at risk. Also, if it is just isolated to the ocean, why is radiation appearing across the continent in Ottawa Ontario Canada??? – To believe the government I would have to believe water molecules have become magically sentient and realized they should not be evaporated from the ocean, but politely remain there until they are no longer lethal… For all those in doubt, try some math: Plutonium, for example, has a half life of 88 years, it will take 792 years until 1 pound of it become 1/256th of a pound. Not to mention strontium, cesium, uranium, and all the other “completely safe” isotopes. Nuclear power is a really effing stupid way to boil water. It’s a cover up for the production of weapons grade isotopes. Don’t believe me? Read some actual history BOOKS, and you will see it there.

  19. I don’t think your right…. just in my town there have been life threating illnesses due to fish from the pacific. everyone should be getting a lot of potassium while they can. this problem is only going to get worse.