WHO: Japan Nuclear Fallout Food Radiation ‘More Serious’ Than Thought; Officials Worried Of High Levels Of Radiation In Food Supply


The World Health Organization reports that food radiation from Japan’s nuclear fallout is ‘More Serious’ than thought. Japanese officials are now worried that high levels of radiation have entered the food supply. To make matters worse contaminated food has been sent beyond the affected area.

Breaking from Huffington Post’s Live Blog:

Today 12:54 PM Food Radiation ‘More Serious’ Than Thought

Food radiation contamination is more serious than was originally thought. Reuters reports:

The World Health Organization said on Monday that radiation in food after an earthquake damaged a Japanese nuclear plant was more serious than previously thought, eclipsing signs of progress in a battle to avert a catastrophic meltdown in its reactors.

Engineers managed to rig power cables to all six reactors at the Fukushima complex, 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, and started a water pump at one of them to reverse the overheating that has triggered the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.

ABC News reports:

Japan Radiation Contaminates Food Sent Beyond Affected Area

Japanese Officials Fear Radiation Contamination From Local Food but Experts Say U.S. Consumers Have No Cause for Alarm

Many Japanese citizens around the Fukushima nuclear plant have evacuated amid growing fears of increased radiation seeping into the ground and air.

But Japan officials now fear that high levels of radioactive materials have entered the food supply as efforts continue to get the damaged nuclear reactors under control.

Radioactive iodine found in the air falls to the ground naturally, or is brought down with the rain or snow. On a farm, the radioactive substances can embed in the grass that cows eat, and are then excreted in its milk.

High levels of iodine that can be absorbed through the milk can accumulate in the thyroid and specifically cause thyroid cancer. High levels of cesium can damage cells and put many people at higher risk of developing other kinds of cancer.

Many of the local farms surrounding the plant export their products to areas outside the radiation zone. Some products are even shipped internationally to countries such as the United States.

Yahoo News:

WHO warns of “serious” food radiation in disaster-hit Japan …

TOKYO (Reuters) – Global anxiety rose over radiation from Japan’s earthquake damaged nuclear plant even as engineers had some success in the battle to avert disaster from the world’s worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl.

“It’s a lot more serious than anybody thought in the early days when we thought that this kind of problem can be limited to 20 to 30 kilometers,” Peter Cordingley, spokesman for the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) regional office, told Reuters.

“It’s safe to suppose that some contaminated produce got out of the contamination zone.”

However, Cordingley said there was no evidence of contaminated food reaching other countries from the Fukushima complex, which lies 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo.

Japan has urged some residents near the plant to stop drinking tap water after high levels of radioactive iodine were detected. It has also stopped shipments of milk, spinach and another local vegetable called kakina from the area.

Categories: FUKUSHIMA

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