Jordan Van Voast 
Member since Dec 4, 2013


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Re: “Fukushima Panic

To the editor,

Thank you for providing coverage on the Fukushima disaster. It is very important to provide unbiased information to the public on such a serious accident with global implications. While your article offered some balance, I was disheartened by calculated ridicule directed at people concerned about the health and environmental effects of radioactive contamination from the Fukushima nuclear disaster. "She even removes her boots". The title "Fukushima panic" furthers this one sided narrative of irrational people ignoring so-called sound science.
To begin, let's be clear here about sources. There is no such thing as an independent source. Citing a University of Berkeley lab as proof of your argument is faulty on several counts. First, all universities today rely heavily on corporate and (politically charged) government funding - even if not immediately transparent. One of the scientists has been funded by DOE and Homeland Security. There are many people who would regard that type of funding as entailing serious conflicts of interest.

Occasionally, an independent minded scientist within today's academic scene risks an unpopular conclusion based on research, but all too often, scientists are concerned about continued funding, and or tenure.

Secondly, very little testing has been done by public agencies since Fukushima. There was an initial flurry of heightened testing after March 11, 2011, but now it is routine under pronouncements from EPA, FDA, etc. that everything is normal. But wait, did anyone notice that we have a "new normal"? EPA just finished their rule change raising allowable exposure by several orders of magnitude on some radionuclides. Dr. Ken Buesseler of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute has said that he is very concerned about strontium 90 which does bioaccumulate and is being released into the environment. I am not aware of any tests on the West Coast being done for strontium, so far what little tests have been conducted have looked at cesium and iodine.

I'm not going to write a thesis here. I don't have time for that, and neither do most people to read it. My point is that there are many valid public concerns which cannot be explained away with a few bland statements of scientists dismissing risk. The nuclear industry and their friends at the IAEA, DOE (formerly AEA), UNSCEAR, WHO, NRC, and the State Department, have always downplayed the risks of nuclear power (and weapons) and there is ample evidence of a conscious coverup of secret radiation experiments in this country (declassified by Clinton, but most of the experiments remain secret due to routine records destruction). IAEA also has downplayed Chernobyl as evidenced by the Yablokov collection of 5000 independent studies in the former USSR region.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon aligns itself with Japan in a Cold War era nationalistic global chess game - the Asia pivot - largely aimed at containing China. A fascist gag order on free press in Japan is set to be imposed and is clearly supported by the Obama administration, though decried by the Chief of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. We need more transparency, not more geo-political maneuvering and lockstep journalism without regard for the long term welfare of humanity and all life.

Sincerely,

Jordan Van Voast
East Asian Medical Practitioner

31 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jordan Van Voast on 12/04/2013 at 12:35 PM

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