[WSF-Discuss] Fwd: Physicians Concerned About Radioactivity in Food Supply

Jai Sen jai.sen at cacim.net
Wed Mar 23 11:03:47 CDT 2011

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Looking ahead, contd :

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Daphne Wysham <daphne at ips-dc.org>
> Date: March 23 2011 7:36:12 pm GMT+05:30
> To: "cjn at lists.riseup.net" <cjn at lists.riseup.net>, "climaterealitycheck at googlegroups.com 
> " <climaterealitycheck at googlegroups.com>
> Subject: [climate justice now!] Physicians Concerned About  
> Radioactivity in Food Supply
> Physicians for Social Responsibility Deeply Concerned About
> Reports of Increased Radioactivity in Food Supply
> Washington, DC - March 23, 2011 – Physicians for Social  
> Responsibility (PSR) expressed concern over recent reports that  
> radioactivity from the ongoing Fukushima accident is present in the  
> Japanese food supply.  While all food contains radionuclides,  
> whether from natural sources, nuclear testing or otherwise, the  
> increased levels found in Japanese spinach and milk pose health  
> risks to the population.  PSR also expressed alarm over the level of  
> misinformation circulating in press reports about the degree to  
> which radiation exposure can be considered “safe.”
> According to the National Academy of Sciences, there are no safe  
> doses of radiation. Decades of research show clearly that any dose  
> of radiation increases an individual’s risk for the development of  
> cancer.
> “There is no safe level of radionuclide exposure, whether from food,  
> water or other sources.  Period,” said Jeff Patterson, DO, immediate  
> past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility.  “Exposure  
> to radionuclides, such as iodine-131 and cesium-137, increases the  
> incidence of cancer. For this reason, every effort must be taken to  
> minimize the radionuclide content in food and water.”
> “Consuming food containing radionuclides is particularly dangerous.  
> If an individual ingests or inhales a radioactive particle, it  
> continues to irradiate the body as long as it remains radioactive  
> and stays in the body,”said Alan H. Lockwood, MD, a member of the  
> Board of Physicians for Social Responsibility. “The Japanese  
> government should ban the sale of foods that contain radioactivity  
> levels above pre-disaster levelsand continue to monitor food and  
> water broadly in the area. In addition, the FDA and EPA must enforce  
> existing regulations and guidelines that address radionuclide  
> content in our food supply here at home.”
> As the crisis in Japan goes on, there are an increasing number of  
> sources reporting that 100 milliSieverts (mSv) is the lowest dose at  
> which a person isat risk for cancer.  Established research disproves  
> this claim. A dose of 100 mSv creates a one in 100 risk of getting  
> cancer, buta dose of 10 mSv still gives a one in 1,000 chance of  
> getting cancer, and a dose of 1 mSv gives a one in 10,000 risk.
> Even if the risk of getting cancer for one individual from a given  
> level of food contamination is low, if thousands or millions of  
> people are exposed, then some of those people will get cancer.
> Recent reports indicate the Japanese disaster has released more  
> iodine-131 than cesium-137. Iodine-131 accumulates in the thyroid,  
> especially of children, with a half-life of over 8 days compared to  
> cesium-137, which has a half-life of just over 30 years.  Regardless  
> of the shorter half-life, doses of iodine-131 are extremely  
> dangerous, especially to pregnant women and children, and can lead  
> to incidents of cancer, hypothyroidism, mental retardation and  
> thyroid deficiency, among other conditions.
> “Children are much more susceptible to the effects of radiation, and  
> stand a much greater chance of developing cancer than adults,” said  
> Dr. Andrew Kanter, president-elect of PSR’s Board. “So it is  
> particularly dangerous when they consume radioactive food or water.”
> All food containssome radioactivity as a result of natural sources,  
> but also from prior above-ground nuclear testing, the Chernobyl  
> accident, and releases from nuclear reactors and from weapons  
> facilities. The factors that will affect the radioactivityin food  
> after the Fukushima accident are complicated. These include the  
> radionuclides thatthe nuclear reactor emits, weather patterns that  
> control the wind direction and where the radionuclides are  
> deposited, characteristics of the soil (e.g., clays bind nuclides,  
> sand does not) and the nature of the food(leafy plants like spinach  
> are more likely to be contaminated than other plants like rice that  
> have husks, etc.).However, radiation can be concentrated many times  
> in the food chain and any consumption adds to the cumulative risk of  
> cancer and other diseases.
> “Reports indicate that the total radioactive releases from the  
> Fukushima reactor have been relatively small so far.  If this is the  
> case, then the health effects to the overall population will be  
> correspondingly small,” said Ira Helfand, MD, a member of the Board  
> of Physicians for Social Responsibility. “But it is not true to say  
> that it is "safe" to release this much radiation; some people will  
> get cancer and die as a result.”
> Founded in 1961 by physicians concerned about the impact of nuclear  
> proliferation, PSR shared the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize with  
> International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War for  
> building public pressure to end the nuclear arms race.  Since 1991,  
> when PSR formally expanded its work by creating its environment and  
> health program, PSR has addressed the issues of global warming and  
> the toxic degradation of our environment.  PSR educates and  
> advocates for policies to curb global warming, ensure clean air,  
> generate a sustainable energy future, prevent human exposures to  
> toxic substances, and minimize toxic pollution of air, food, and  
> drinking water.  More information is available at www.psr.org.

Jai Sen
jai.sen at cacim.net
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CACIM @ WSF Dakar, February 2011 - see http://cacim.net/twiki/tiki-index.php?page=CACIM+at+WSF+2011 

February 8 2011, 8:30-11:30 and 12:30-3:30

‘Facing the Challenges of the Present and the Future : How Well is the  
World Social Forum Doing ?’

(CACIM (India) together with AFM - Articulación Feminista Marco Sur  
(Latin America), ATTAC France, Canada Research Chair in Social  
Justice, GGJ - Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (USA), Kenya Network  
of Grassroots Organisations - KENGONET), Mémoire des lutes (France),  
Mouvements (France), and People’s Parliament (Kenya)

February 9 2011, 8:30-11:30

‘Confronting the Consequences of Climate Change : Conflict, War,  
Resistance, and Movement in the Coming Half Century’

(CACIM (India) together with ABN - African Biodiversity Network  
(Kenya); Climate SOS (USA); GGJ - Grassroots Global Justice Alliance  
(USA), IEN - Indigenous Environmental Network (Turtle Island : Canada/ 
USA), and NFFPFW - National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers  

February 9 2011, 12:30-3:30

‘Perspectives on the ‘crisis of civilization’ as a focus for movements’

(CACIM (India) together with Canada Research Chair in Social Justice,  
El Taller International, National Forum of Forest People and Forest  
Workers (India), and others)


Jai Sen, 2010 – ‘On open space : Explorations towards a vocabulary of  
a more open politics’, in Antipode, Vol 42 No 4, 2010 (ISSN  
0066-4812), pp 994–1018.

(Full original unedited version available @ http://cacim.net/twiki/tiki-index.php?page=Publications.)

Jai Sen, March 2010b – ‘Be the Seed : An Introduction to and  
Commentary on the government of Bolivia’s Call for a ‘Peoples’ World  
Conference On Climate Change And The Rights Of Mother Earth’’, @ http://cacim.net/twiki/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=64 
, http://www.choike.org/2009/eng/informes/7620.html, and http://www.zcommunications.org/be-the-seed-by-jai-sen 
.  Also available in Spanish @ http://www.choike.org/2009/esp/informes/153.html


Jai Sen, ed, forthcoming (2010a) - Interrogating Empires, Book 2 in  
the Are Other Worlds Possible ? series.  New Delhi : OpenWord and  
Daanish Books

Jai Sen, ed, forthcoming (2010b) - Imagining Alternatives, Book 3 in  
the Are Other Worlds Possible ? series.  New Delhi : OpenWord and  
Daanish Books

Jai Sen and Peter Waterman, eds, forthcoming (2011a) – World Social  
Forum : Critical Explorations. Volume 3 in the Challenging Empires  
series.  New Delhi : OpenWord Books

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