Deadly levels of radiation found in food 225 miles from Fukushima: Media blackout on nuclear fallout continues

Fukushimafallout

New data released by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) shows once again that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster is far from over. Despite a complete media blackout on the current situation, levels of Cesium-137 (Cs-137) and Cesium-134 (Cs-134) found in produce and rice crackers located roughly 225 miles away from Fukushima are high enough to cause residents to exceed the annual radiation exposure limit in just a few months, or even weeks.

According to Fukushima-Diary.com, which posts up-to-date information about the Fukushima disaster, rice crackers and tangerines produced in the Shizuoka prefecture are testing high for both Cs-137 and Cs-134. Rice crackers, according to the data sheet, tested at 3.7 Becquerels per kilogram (Bq/Kg) of Cs-137, while tangerines tested at 1.46 Bq/Kg of Cs-134 and 3.14 Bq/Kg of Cs-137.

The Shizuoka prefecture is located about 80 miles southwest of Tokyo, which is highly concerning as it is actually farther away from Fukushima than Tokyo. This suggest that potentially deadly levels of radiation are still affecting large population centers across Japan, including those that are not even in close proximity to the Fukushima plant.

It is generally regarded that adult radiation workers should be exposed to no more than 50 millisieverts (mSv) of radiation per year in order to avoid serious health consequences. For children, this number is far lower, probably somewhere around 10 mSv, with this being on the high end. But the average adult and child eating these tainted foods at their current radiation levels will not only reach but exceed the safe maximum in just a few weeks.

Radiation levels continue to increase in lakes, rivers north of Tokyo

But food, of course, is not the only major source of radiation exposure in Japan. Other data also released by Fukushima-Diary.com shows that radiation levels in rivers, lakes and shorelines around Kashiwa City in Chiba, located about 20 miles northeast of Tokyo, are dangerously high and getting even higher.

Since radiation levels were last tested in the Otsu River back in September, detected levels have nearly tripled, jumping from 5,700 Bq/Kg to 14,200 Bq/Kg of radiation. Similar jumps were observed in lakes and shore soils, the former increasing from 7,600 Bq/Kg to 8,200 Bq/Kg of radiation, and the latter increasing from 440 Bq/Kg to 780 Bq/Kg of radiation.

Any increase in disease or death resulting from these continued radiation spikes, however, will more than likely be blamed on other causes besides radiation, so as to cover up the severity of the situation. The radiation component of radiation-induced heart disease, organ failure, and cancer, for instance, will simply be ignored, and any uptick in deaths, particularly among the elderly, declared normal.

Meanwhile, a recent Rasmussen Report found that more than one-third of all Americans believe radiation from Fukushima caused “significant harm” in the U.S. This is likely due to the fact that high levels of radiation were observed in soil, water, and even food all across America in the wake of the disaster.

Sources for this article include:

http://fukushima-diary.com

http://fukushima-diary.com

http://www.rasmussenreports.com

The globalization of GMOs: How genetic engineering is destroying the developing world

monsanto

Globalization affects everyone. The shrinking world brings people in the United States closer to ideas and cultures from all corners of the earth. Likewise, other countries are introduced to many facets of the American life and that way of life includes genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The use of GMOs in food originated in America and while much of the West has banned their use, the developing world is taking part – to their detriment.

GMO introduction

Genetically engineered crops came to the market in America in the mid 90s. With much help from the FDA, who didn’t require additional labeling, due to their concept of “substantial equivalence,” the consumer was none the wiser. Basically, the FDA didn’t find it necessary to inform consumers of GMO use through labeling because they didn’t see any significant difference between GMOs and conventional crops.

GMOs today

Fast forward to modern day. The use of GMOs in food has been problematic. Super weeds are destroying farmers’ fields; only a handful of multinational corporations own the patents to these crops; biodiversity is diminishing. What’s more, these crops have yet to be found safe for long-term human consumption in any independent studies. This is because the studies are done by the corporation responsible for the technology which allows for a severe bias. America is exceedingly at the whim of these mega-conglomerates who are making very large claims. Genetic engineering is the future of food; it is supposed to help alleviate world hunger, produce larger yields, resist pests without a lot of pesticides, and help reduce farmers’ labor. The technology is now being pawned off to the developing world as a solution to their poverty and hunger. How do these claims stack up? And are these corporations really helping the third world?

GMOs in Haiti

To get a better understanding of how the developing world is grappling with the GMO debacle, let’s look at how several developing countries have adapted. One biotech corporation donated 475 tons of hybrid vegetable seeds, some treated with chemicals so toxic that agricultural workers have to wear special protective clothing, to impoverished Haiti. You would imagine that such a poor country would be grateful for donated seeds. In fact, the opposite holds true. Intense opposition ensued; with the promise to burn the seeds as they are, “a very strong attack on small agriculture, on farmers, on biodiversity, on Creole seeds … and on what is left our environment in Haiti,” claims a Haitian peasant farmer and activist.

Bt cotton in China and Indonesia

The claims weren’t substantiated in China either. According to one study, their use of Bt cotton over seven years has increased the need for fertilizer and irrigation water; additionally, “Bt cotton is expected to increase the incidence of primary pest bollworms, which could develop resistance and develop secondary pests like caterpillars,” one study claims.

Indonesia, also using Bt cotton, pulled the plug on the crop and switched to a non-GMO variety when it didn’t produce the promised yields. In addition to smaller yields, a significant amount of the planted crop experienced total harvest failure. As if this weren’t enough to put the farmers into debt, the company selling the seeds raised the prices, and trapped in a contract, as is the norm when using GMO seeds, the farmers had to acquiesce.

African sweet potatoes

GMO sweet potatoes were introduced into Africa with the claim they were resistant to a specific type of virus. In fact, they were just as susceptible to the virus as conventional sweet potatoes and contrarily, a sweet potato was produced through cross-breeding that actually resisted the virus.

Sources for this article include:

http://archive.truthout.org

http://fbae.org

http://www.greens.org/s-r/35/35-03.html

China reports 2 more cases of new bird flu virus

avianflu

Shanghai has reported two more cases of human infection of a new strain of bird flu, raising the number of cases in eastern China to 18. Six of the people who contracted the virus have died.

Health officials believe people are contracting the H7N9 virus through direct contact with infected fowl and say there’s no evidence the virus is spreading easily between people.

Shanghai’s government said Saturday the latest victims are a 74-year-old peasant and a 66-year-old retiree. The city has been ordered by the agriculture ministry to halt its live poultry trade and slaughter all fowl in markets where the virus has been found.

The capital cities of the neighboring provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangsu also have suspended sales of live poultry. Both provinces have reported H7N9 cases.

China bird flu sends Europe, Asia stocks down

birdflu

China’s newest strain of avian flu, which has killed at least six people, has sent stock markets downhill. Local stocks were first to suffer, with shockwaves heading across Asia and into Europe. The news mainly hurt tourism and travel-related shares.

Shares in Chinese airlines declined to their lowest in nearly four years following the news of six deaths from the H7N9 bird flu virus.

The deaths are more than a third of the 14 confirmed human infection cases in China. Most of the affected were on the eastern coast near Shanghai. Mass slaughter of poultry has been ordered in the region and all live poultry markets are closed.

Earlier in the week Shanghai issued a level 3 flu alert, the second lowest stage of four.

The number of flu victims has been low, it’s believed, due to the fact the H7N9 virus cannot be transmitted from human to human. The WHO says no such cases have been registered so far.

Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines Co. which deploys around 78 per cent of its capacity on the domestic market, was down 10.6 per cent on Friday, the stock’s biggest one-day decline since April 27, 2009.

European airlines are also down over the flu fears. Air France-KLM, Lufthansa, IAG and Ryanair fell by between 3.3 and 4.7 per cent.

The sector is reacting to fears of a new pandemic of bird flu in China, which would hurt air traffic,” a Paris-based airline sector analyst told Reuters. “For now, investors are pricing in a bad scenario, although if you look back four years ago, Chinese authorities did a good job dealing with the pandemic back then, and the airline sector didn’t suffer much.”

In Hong Kong, the overall index closed at a four-month low, led by falls in airline shares over fears of reduced demand for air travel. Shares of Air China dropped 9.8 per cent, which was company’s worst single-day loss in nearly four years.

People are worried the new bird flu would develop into a disaster like SARS [‘Severe acute respiratory syndrome’, which killed thousands in 2003],” Davin Wu, a transportation analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG, told Bloomberg. “At least leisure travelers will be cutting back their trips to China.

Analysts say the situation will only improve as the Chinese flu danger is over.

Though geopolitical analyst and author William Engdahl told RT that it is way too early to start the alarm, as the symptoms of the H7N9 are rather common.

“I think it’s way too early. WHO lists the symptoms of H7N9 as pneumonia, severe cough, fever and shortness of breath. These are symptoms that can apply to a myriad of illnesses. 6 people have died in China in a population of 1.3 billion, but we haven’t conclusive proof of what exactly they died of. They may have had severe pneumonia and other respiratory complications and simply died of those. But because doctors identified this H7N9, they claim it’s the death owing to the bird flu” he said.

He supposes that the pharmaceutical industry might be flaring up the hysteria and influencing health organizations.

“It’s interesting WHO is again recommending ‘Tamiflu’, a company that Donald Rumsfeld has huge interest in. And it was involved when he was Secretary of Defense, buying loads of this Tamiflu to American soldiers. Look in detail what happened during the 2008 flu hysteria. WHO was corrupt to the top levels. The scientific advisory board of the WHO was influenced. Most of the members were receiving money from the big farm industry. The farm industry was sitting on the recommendation meetings to tell Margaret Chan of the WHO to declare a pandemic. They changed the definition of pandemic in April of that year to include only geographical spread of certain symptoms which were the common cold,” Engdahl told RT.

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