The public has the right to know.
The government puts labels on cigarettes and warns of the danger to health. People have the right to know and the right to smoke cigarettes if they choose. People have the right to know what is in their milk and decide whether or not they want to drink it.
Could it be that the Canadian government’s involvement in the mining, processing and selling of uranium to other countries, its selling of nuclear technology to the world as well as its profiting from Canada’s own nuclear power plants and nuclear research reactors, makes it not want to draw attention to the dangers of radioactivity?
Earlier we noted that theFukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant continues to give off at least 10 million becquerels of Cesium 134 and 137 every hour. This means that over the almost two years that this crisis has been happening, there have been 10 million x 24 hours per day x 365 days per year x 2 years =175,200,000,000 disintegrations of Cesium 134 and 137 released to the atmosphere.
That goes along with Strontium 90 and 200 other radioisotopes all disintegrating and causing damage to the environment and the humans they come into contact with.
Canadians, Americans and citizens of this planet deserve better than this. To get to that better place happens because of the people and, sometimes, their governments.
The national anthem of Canada, “O Canada,” has lyrics that include “With glowing hearts.” Those lyrics can be taken literally in this Land of Milk and Strontium 90.
Failure to protect its citizens from the possible effects of Fukushima fallout is one of the Canadian government’s greatest and most easily addressed failings. Waiting for the federal government to actually act upon this information is a fool’s game.
A better course could be encouraging government officials and leaders to step up and face the unfortunate facts of Fukushima impacting our western shores. And, of course, carefully monitoring one’s diet and environment to lessen the dangers of this unprecedented, and ongoing, triple meltdown up-current from British Columbia.
Appendix of Our Strontium 90 in Milk Results
November 8/11 – Avalone skim milk – Organic
This month we sprung for the extra bucks and tested for Strontium 90 result: <0.2Bq/l November 8, 2012 – Avalone Whole 3.25% Homo Milk
Strontium 90 :<0.2 Bq/l January 4/12 – Dairyland Skim Milk
Strontium 90 0.3 Bq/l detectible and higher (detection level is 0.2Bq/l and the variation is +/- 0.2 )
February 8/12 – Dairyland Skim Milk
Strontium 90 0.4 Bq/l (detection level 0.2 Bq/l )
May 2012 – Dairyland Skim Milk (different lab #1)
Strontium 90 – below minimum detectible concentration of 0.039 Bq/l
October 2012 – Dairyland Skim Milk (different lab#2)
Strontium 90 – below minimum detection limit of 0.061 Bq/l 9 note detection level 100% higher)
To ‘Where’s the truth?’: Do you remember in the 1970s, Three-Mile-Island, in Pennsylvania, had a radioactive leak? Many, many people protested; their motto was, “NO MORE NUKES!” So, to clarify this for you, the American citizens do not give the gov’t. permission to continue using radioactive substances; the fact is, the gov’t. does what it wants regardless of what it’s citizens demand. Being in gov’t. at one time was a patriotic duty, but now it’s a business and the people pulling the strings are the largest corporations (the top 1% of the top 1%) and their lobbying groups. That’s where the term “Global Economy” originated; that’s why Europe formed the European Union; these corporations want to bring the entire globe under on ruling group. Ever see the movie, “Soilent Green”; well guess what, that’s what we’re all eating everyday because of the Industrialized farming, Industrial Feed lots, pesticides, herbicides, picking produce before it’s ripe then ‘GASING’ it before taking it to market, etc. Think about it; then put the blame where it belongs…not on the U.S. citizens…on the upper crust of the global corporations and the gov’t’s. that let them get away with crimes against humanity, nature, and life itself.
Do you think that maybe some of the radioactive exposure in the 1950s and 1960s could be, not just from testing above ground in the U.S., but also from the Canadian gov’t’s. involvement with uranium? It could just as well be that they covered up an ‘accident’, or deliberate act…who knows, right? Also, have you tested the produce for contamination as well? It would be interesting to know what results would turn up. Thank you for this indepth article; it was very informative and I learned stuff I didn’t know. Thank you.
In 1961, there was a fire and nuclear meltdown in Idaho at something called SL-1 that released huge amounts of radioactive contamination into the atmosphere, including Strontium 90. Now the thing of it is that at that time there was a huge dairy company called United Dairies Limited of Calgary, Alberta (now owned by Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. in Laval, Quebec, Canada through a long series of transfers in ownership). They also had an ice cream division called Crystal Dairy in Medicine Hat, Alberta. through many above ground nuclear tests, fallout and processing contamination from nuclear weapons processing in the U.S. and the Northerly Chinook winds, many Albertans, especially the young and vulnerable ones were exposed to gene-damaging levels of radioactivity in the 1950’s and early 1960’s. In those days milk delivery to homes was common in Calgary, Lethbridge, and Medicine Hat. Many genetic defects and health problems have developed over the years in the young southern Albertans, including those of my eldest brother. The Dairy Industry of Alberta, The Government of Alberta, The Government of Canada, the Cancer Society of Alberta have all conducted a conspiracy of silence and coverup campaign of our exposures. The American Cancer Society Map of Radiation Exposure ends at the Canadian Border. Canada and Alberta have no such radiation exposure maps, in fact they are Deathly Silent on the matter.
Now one has to tell me that there is a high amount of radiation in our food or water as my pets go out and eat grass only to vomit blood after that and go into excruciating pain and not just that . I have noticed that some of my garden plants chard and other plants tasted like chemicals. We are all in big trouble.
@Sais Your comments are anecdotal and easy to logically pick apart. Let’s hear some real scientific analysis.
1) Why does the story need to talk about Fukushima? That is not necessary. You seem to be implying cherry picking.
2) How would those two 15 year old girls know about their health status of something so subtle? Did they have the appropriate tests performed on them? Where exactly did they live? It’s obvious that nuclear radiation sickness effects can take years to manifest so they may still be affected but not feel any symptoms. Unless you know the details, speaking generally can invalidate all your comments.
3) If you know anything about statistics, correlations, probabilities as it applies here, it does not imply any certainty about being dead at 50. That is your own faulty logic.
From your comments, you appear to be a naive believer in the power of science and that what is “known” is safe enough to trust. What you fail to realize is that there is more unknown than is known. Human knowledge is imperfect because nature is infinitely interdependent. We may know a few links in her chain, but most we are ignorant of. We’ve never had widespread radiation that is polluting entire oceans and large portions of the planet at these significant levels before. Nature is very nonlinear and interlinked and it is highly presumptuous of you to think that we can rely simply on what we presently know to judge the future in such an uncertain scenario. As has always happened in the past, as concerns drive investigation, new knowledge will reveal itself to show missing links of how nature works and our current models will then have to adapt.
Why has there been no mention of the radioactivity levels in the populated areas of Japan near Fukashima in this article or the following comments? I just had two Japanese 15 year old school girls stay in my Australian home for a week. They live about 30 miles from the reactor. No comments about ongoing emissions. They thought they lived far enough away to have no problems. Your story makes me even more sceptical. Your statistics suggest they will both be dead of cancer by 50! The stats were incomplete, e.g.no cancer risk. The logic of ceasing to eat radionucleotides, by ceasing to eat top of food chain,I.e.go vegan. was missed.
@mario – goats milk historically has had higher radiation readings than cows milk.
Thank you for this perfectly-written and informative article. Thank you also for your selflessness in testing the milk and sharing your results.
Your article makes it even more concerning that in 2009 the EPA signed off on Protective Action Guidelines whick allow a permissible 1,000-fold increase of Strontium-90 in drinking water!
Strontium-90 was also found in Florida rain as reported by an Enenewser.
Also, if anyone would like to see the EPA’s results for Strontium-90 in milk for your area, you can run a query here:
Out of curiosity, I ran a query for the western U.S. region for Strontium-90 in Pasteurized Milk from 1978-2013, and here is the result:
I am heart broken at this event and all of the events of mass destruction I’ve witnessed and had the displeasure of reading about from in mankinds history. Japan has been the evil powers that be’s radiation playground for some time now. Sadly, we experience these disasters and pick up from where we left off and blindly carry on as though, ahh it’s halfway across the globe, it’s not in my backyard so no worries.
We (north America) will have many of the sins we consent to our government performing around the world come upon our heads tenfold because we do nothing to try and stop it. Continue to feed the beast and when you can no longer sustain it’s appetite, it will in turn feed upon the land and it’s inhabitants that gave it it’s power.
The British Government is going nuclear – rather than spend money on wind farms and wave power they prefer to join the happy band of profiteers who own the Nuclear industries. Does anyone know how to find out if we are also testing our milk etc and who do I write to to find out?
Below is an initial response from an environmental lawyer answering my questions about using Dr. Busby’s petition approach.
It appears to me that, in Canada, what would be required would be integration of the safety protocols into regulations under federal law. One can review a variety of current regulations on the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) website (http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/lawsregs/index.cfm ). The creation of new regulations typically involves a level of lobbying and advocacy and requires a high level of persistence. Some non-government organizations in Canada (such as Sierra Club Canada http://www.sierraclub.ca ) have been involved in issues surrounding nuclear energy and may have some insight in terms of strategies.
Generally, a starting point would be to contact the CNSC and ensure that they have all the relevant evidence. Follow up meetings with the Commission might follow to outline the need and relevance of safety approach you are advocating.
In terms of bringing the matter forward to a domestic tribunal or court, I think there would be a need to find circumstances which are illustrative of the risks involved and to present the need for greater regulation, in that instance. This in itself would require significant monitoring and background work it seems to me as the EU is far more active on this front (or so it seems from my general awareness).
In terms of other alternatives, one can bring an environmental petition to the office of the Auditor General of Canada and the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (a guide to this process can be viewed at http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/docs/pet_lp_e_930.pdf ). Please see the example — http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/pet_163A_e_28897.html . As you will note in the petition that is linked the applicant sought to establish whether the federal government viewed the Charter of Rights and Freedoms included a right to a clean environment (to which the government responded by avoiding an answer and claiming existing legislation protected the environment).
Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, Canadians felt that their society was far advanced, in comparison with that of the United States, in terms of protection of the country’s citizens.
Fast forward to the 2000’s and pro-business Conservative Stephen Harper became Prime Minister and in that role is the person who selects those who manage Canada’s federal government. Prime Minister Harper’s interests are business, business, business. It’s very clear that it is not in the economic interests of Canada’s businesses that the Canadian government admit reality: That certain dairy or farming regions have been irreversibly harmed by Fukushima’s radiation, and that the continuing releases of radiation will make the harm to Canada’s dairy and growing regions and their businesses permanent. Since the Conservative Canadian government is unable to stop the continued nuclear contamination of parts of Canada due to Fukushima’s ongoing melt downs, the Conservative government simply decides to say nothing and do nothing, allowing Canadian businesses to continue to sell contaminated dairy products, and perhaps contaminated beef, to fellow Canadians.
As a result, a generation or more of Canadian children will be put at risk of the same sort of nuclear contamination caused illnesses found in Belarus and south west Russia as a result of the Chernobyl radiation.
Morally, pre-Harper Canada usually took the high ground and told the truth, even if the truth was painful and the problem difficult and long term.
It’s so sad that as to this critical public health issue, Canada’s federal and provincial governments have fallen to a new low…matching the reckless, callous conduct of the U.S. government.
“People have a right to know.” – on page 4
Some of us do know, but we had to look for it. No agency or government is going to stand up and say they were wrong.
The Nuclear Overlords and their servants are never going to say squat! …and they certainly aren’t going to ‘announce’ it via mainstream media to a large number of people who think Fukushima is done and over. That might cause panic.
Even worse… it might get people to thinking just how insanely dangerous Nuclear Power really is. …and they wouldn’t want that either.
Fantastic article! Just a correction: the biggest source of sr90 in foods and milk in the U.S. and Canada in the 1960s was not continental testing at the Nevada Test Site, but rather from high atmospheric fallout created by huge H-bomb tests in the Pacific and in Siberia. That 1960s fallout actually hit Canada much harder than the U.S. If you look at 1960s UNSCEAR reports, you’ll see that Canadian soils had 150-200% higher sr90 depositions than in the U.S., on average, and higher values in wheat, etc… Question: did the labs you worked with also test for strontium-89? Is there any reason you didn’t ask them to test for that isotope as well?
@ Marlo – as far as I know, no one has tested goat’s milk. However, this needs to be done. Peter Daley of The Food Lab has told us that goats milk concentrates radionuclides even more than cow’s milk. If you are drinking goat’s milk, I encourage you to send in a litre of it to a certified testing lab.
has anyone tested goat’s milk at all and has testing been done in the interior of b.c.?
David, we NEED your help! Chris Busby’s petition is very interesting. Also, going through the legal system has possibilities. It takes time, energy and money to get these initiatives going. Everyone needs to get active on this issue of our very survival.
Every reactor produces so much highly radioactive nuclear waste and there is NO WHERE to put it!!! Even without a disaster, every nuclear power plant is allowed to release radioactivity into the environment. When there is a disaster, it is a complete catastrophe – look at Japan – changed forever – contaminated land, sick and dying people, no end in sight.
We currently have a campaign started to close down the closest nuclear power plant to our home.
Everyone needs to find out where their closest nuclear reactor is located. Then they need to find out if there is a group working to shut it down. If there is, they need to JOIN IT! If there isn’t, they need to CREATE ONE!
As Jerry Mander and Ernest Callenbach said in the forward to the “must read” 2013 book “Nuclear Roulette” by Gar Smith:
“The situation is so grave that we should ….be camped out night and day in front of the legislative and regulatory bodies demanding the permanent end to any and every expression of this continued nuclear menace”.
I deeply appreciate the work that went into this informative report. I am grateful for the dedication of those who gathered the facts and I have shared the article as much as I can. While I live in Ontario, I have family in B.C. and I am concerned for all of us across the country and around the world. What a mess!
Thank you! What a loss for all of us and all life forms on earth! And the strange thing is that none of this
has to happen. We need nuclear like we need a hole in our head.
1. Dr. Busby petition approach in Europe is an interesting way to have the governments there to look at the contanmination through a legal process. Can us Canadians do the same?
2. Tony Merchant – lawyer – is representing former Chalk river workers in an class action lawsuit. Maybe he would be willing to take this on.
3. My MLA needs to see these lab reports along with a letter demanding change.