Not Loving It: Russia moots McDonald’s burger ban. Russia’s consumer watchdog has opened an investigation into the quality of food products used at McDonald’s, on top of a lawsuit that could ban some signature products from the Russian market. RT’s Maria Finoshina investigates.
A Canadian high school student named Bronwyn Delacruz never imagined that her school science project would make headlines all over the world. But that is precisely what has happened. Using a $600 Geiger counter purchased by her father, Delacruz measured seafood bought at local grocery stores for radioactive contamination. What she discovered was absolutely stunning. Much of the seafood, particularly the products that were made in China, tested very high for radiation. So is this being caused by nuclear radiation from Fukushima? Is the seafood that we are eating going to give us cancer and other diseases? The American people deserve the truth, but as you will see below, the U.S. and Canadian governments are not even testing imported seafood for radiation. To say that this is deeply troubling would be a massive understatement.
In fact, what prompted Bronwyn Delacruz to conduct her science project was the fact that the Canadian government stopped testing imported seafood for radiation in 2012…
Alberta high-school student Bronwyn Delacruz loves sushi, but became concerned last summer after learning how little food inspection actually takes place on some of its key ingredients.
The Grade 10 student from Grande Prairie said she was shocked to discover that, in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) stopped testing imported foods for radiation in 2012.
And what should be a major red flag for authorities is the fact that the seafood with the highest radiation is coming from China…
Armed with a $600 Geiger counter bought by her dad, Delacruz studied a variety of seafoods – particularly seaweeds – as part of an award-winning science project that she will take to a national fair next month.
“Some of the kelp that I found was higher than what the International Atomic Energy Agency sets as radioactive contamination, which is 1,450 counts over a 10-minute period,” she said. “Some of my samples came up as 1,700 or 1,800.”
Delacruz said the samples that “lit up” the most wereproducts from China that she bought in local grocery stores.
It is inexcusable that the Canadian government is not testing this seafood. It isn’t as if they don’t know that it is radioactive. Back in 2012, the Vancouver Sun reported that cesium-137 was being found in a very high percentage of the fish that Japan was selling to Canada…
• 73 percent of the mackerel
• 91 percent of the halibut
• 92 percent of the sardines
• 93 percent of the tuna and eel
• 94 percent of the cod and anchovies
• 100 percent of the carp, seaweed, shark and monkfish
So why was radiation testing for seafood shut down in Canada in 2012?
Someone out there needs to answer some very hard questions.
Meanwhile, PBS reporter Miles O’Brien has pointed out the extreme negligence of the U.S. government when it comes to testing seafood for Fukushima radiation. The following comes from a recent EcoWatch article…
O’Brien also introduces us to scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute who have been testing waters around the reactors—as well as around the Pacific Rim—to confirm the levels of Fukushima fallout, especially of cesium.
These scientists are dedicated and competent. But they are also being forced to do this investigation on their own, raising small amounts of money from independent sources. They were, explains lead scientist Ken Buesseler, turned down for even minimal federal support by five agencies key to our radiation protection. Thus, despite a deep and widespread demand for this information, no federal agency is conducting comprehensive, on-the-ground analyses of how much Fukushima radiation has made its way into our air and oceans.
In fact, very soon after Fukushima began to blow, President Obama assured the world that radiation coming to the U.S. would be minuscule and harmless. He had no scientific proofthat this would be the case. And as O’Brien’s eight-minute piece shows all too clearly, the “see no evil, pay no damages” ethos is at work here. The government is doing no monitoring of radiation levels in fish, and information on contamination of the ocean is almost entirely generated by underfunded researchers like Buesseler.
It is the job of the authorities to keep us safe, and the Fukushima nuclear disaster was the worst nuclear disaster in human history.
So why aren’t they doing testing?
Why aren’t they checking to make sure that this radiation is not getting into our food chain?
The Japanese are doing testing off the coast of Japan, and one fish that was recently caught off the coast of the Fukushima prefecture was discovered to have124 times the safe level of radioactive cesium.
So why are all the authorities in North America just assuming that the fish are going to be perfectly fine on this side of the Pacific?
One test that was conducted in California discovered that 15 out of 15 Bluefin tuna were contaminated with radiation from Fukushima.
So how can the authorities say “don’t worry, just eat the seafood”?
Everyone agrees that a plume of radioactive water has been moving from Fukushima toward the west coast of the United States.
The first radioactive ocean plume released by the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster will finally be reaching the shores of the United States some time in 2014, according to a new study from the University of New South Wales — a full three or so years after the date of the disaster.
When discussing the issues surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) — that is, organisms bearing the genetic traits of other species or bacteria — the focus is typically on how safe (or unsafe) these novel, food-like products are for humans. But distinguished risk engineer and two-time best-selling author Nassim Taleb thinks an even bigger problem with GMOs is their threat to the planet, and the statistical likelihood that they will eventually lead to the collapse of life on Earth.
In a new study, which is still in draft form, this professor of risk engineering from New York University uses statistical analysis to make the case that GMOs, by their very nature, will disrupt the ecosystems of this planet in ways that mankind is only just beginning to comprehend. Because they represent a systemic risk rather than a localized one — GM traits are known to spread unconstrained throughout the environment — GMOs will eventually breach the so-called “ecocide barrier,” leading to catastrophic ecosystem failure.
“There are mathematical limitations to predictability in a complex system, ‘in the wild,’ which is why focusing on the difference between local (or isolated) and systemic threats is a central aspect of our warnings,” Taleb is quoted as saying by Fool.com, noting that it’s essentially impossible to contain the inevitable spread of GMO traits far and wide.
“The [precautionary principle] is not there to make life comfortable, rather to avoid a certain class of what is called in probability and insurance ‘ruin’ problems,” write Taleb and his colleagues in their paper. “For nature, the ‘ruin’ is ecocide: an irreversible termination of life at some scale, which could be the planet.”
GMOs are not ‘scientific,’ and nearly every argument used in their defense is flawed
Besides using math and risk-based analysis to show that GMOs simply cannot coexist with nature as is commonly claimed — GMOs will eventually contaminate the natural world around them — Taleb also deconstructs many of the “arguments” used by GMO advocates to defend the commercial use of untested transgenic materials, including the oft-repeated lie that GMOs are no different than natural organisms.
“Genetically Modified Organisms, GMOs fall squarely under [the precautionary principle]… because of their systemic risk on the system,” explains Taleb. “Top-down modifications to the system (through GMOs) are categorically and statistically different from bottom up ones (regular farming, progressive tinkering with crops, etc.).”
“There is no comparison between the tinkering of selective breeding and the top-down engineering of taking a gene from an organism and putting it into another. Saying that such a product is natural misses the statistical process by which things become ‘natural.’”
Taleb also draws attention to the deceitful strategies of biotechnology companies in trying to legitimize the continued use of GMOs through fear. Claiming that famine, starvation and widespread crop failures will occur if we all fail to adopt GMOs is no different than playing Russian roulette in order to get out of poverty, claims Taleb — such an approach is hardly scientific or logically sound, and yet these and other tactics are the basis of the pro-GMO agenda.
“What people miss is that the modification of crops impacts everyone and exports the error from the local to the global,” concludes Taleb and his colleagues. “I do not wish to pay — or have my descendants pay — for errors by executives of Monsanto. We should exert the precautionary principle there — our non-naive version — simply because we would only discover errors after considerable and irreversible environmental damage.”