Despite the recent admission from the Japanese government that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has been leaking radioactive water since it was badly damaged in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, U.S. seafood has not been affected, according to Ken Buesseler, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Buesseler has published an FAQ section on the organization’s website to address the issue and writes that fish contaminated with cesium exceeding Japanese limits are not being sold internally or exported.
He also explains that “because of the dilution that occurs even a short distance from Fukushima, we do not have a concern about the levels of cesium and other radionuclides in fish off the West Coast of the U.S.”
As for fish such as the Pacific bluefin tuna that can swim long distances, Buesseler says they will begin to flush out the cesium “soon after they enter waters less-affected by Fukushima. By the time tuna are caught in the eastern Pacific, cesium levels in their flesh are 10-20 times lower than when they were off Fukushima.”
By June, FDA investigators had tested 1,313 samples of food imported from Japan — 199 which were seafood or seafood products — and found that only one sample of ginger powder contained cesium, but at levels lower than could pose a health concern.
When Michael Conathan, director of ocean policy at the Center for American Progress, contacted the FDA about domestically caught seafood, a spokesperson told him that “the FDA is not aware of any evidence suggesting that the domestic seafood catch contains harmful levels of radiation.”© Food Safety News