Health authorities in Canada have denied repeated requests to measure the amount of radiation in milk following Japan's nuclear disregarding e the demands from B.C. dairy farmers and despite detected levels of radioactive iodine in Ontario and New Brunswick.
According to John Moulder, a professor of radiation oncology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee "this amount of radiation is tiny, tiny, tiny compared to what you get from natural sources every day."
Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo explained days after the disaster that the damaged plant in the northeastern part of Japan was emitting approximately 1,000 microsieverts, 6 times lower than what a human absorbs from a CT scan, which is at 6,000 microsieverts.
What all these so-called experts fail to realize is that internal radiation is very different from external radiation. Internal contamination of radioactive isotopes is thousands of times more deadly than external radiation since there is no linear relationship between total dose or dose rate and the health consequences thereof. The Petkau effect is an early counterexample to linear-effect assumptions usually made about radiation exposure.
The radiation was of ionising nature, and produced negative oxygen ions. Those ions were more damaging to the membrane in lower concentrations than higher (a somewhat counterintuitive result in itself) because in the latter, they more readily recombine with each other instead of interfering with the membrane. The ion concentration directly correlated with the radiation dose rate and the composition had nonmonotonic consequences.
If a CT scan is being performed on a patient, much of the radiation can be diverted through the use of special gowns because this is external radiation. However, if you drink or eat any food contaminent that has radioactive isotopes and it becomes embedded in your liver or bone marrow it will eventually cause cancer.
Radioactive Strontium will be absorbed right through the bone at a much faster rate than calcium. Radioactive Iodine will be absorbed through the thyroid. Radioactive Cesium will go straight to the liver, heart and muscles.
If you were only to consume food products for one day that contain these dangerous radioactive isotopes, you may be ok, but it's the long-term bioaccumulative effect that will destroy health and cause disease.
According to Alice Danjou, spokeswoman for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, that's not a problem. "There will be no testing of milk," she said.
Robin Smith, executive director of the BC Milk Producers Association, raised his concerns after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday it had found traces of radioactive iodine in milk in Spokane, Wash., about 600 kilometres southeast of Vancouver. But the agency stressed that the levels were 5,000 times below those considered dangerous.
"If there is radioactive iodine in the milk we want to know about it," said Smith.
"This is a $400-million-a-year industry -the biggest farm industry in British Columbia -and milk goes to every household, so we're really concerned about that. We don't want people thinking there is something wrong with it when there isn't."
Although negligible amounts of radiation have been found on the West Coast, Health Canada and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission -the bodies responsible for monitoring radiation levels -say the measurements they are seeing "pose absolutely no risk to people, plants or animals in Canada," said Danjou.
"Of course we are absolutely monitoring the situation and we are prepared to take further action if and when required, but at this point we are not."
Nuclear watch dog and engineer Henry Lau said that delays will cost BC Med millions in the long-term. "There should be no delay in monitoring milk contamination as it can be readily identified and failure will cost BC Med hundreds of millions for disease treatment in the years to come if this is not addressed."
Robin Smith's concern is authorities are only looking at the radioactive levels in the environment and not food products.
"I don't think they're responding appropriately to the public's concerns. Don't just tell us it's safe. Prove it," he said.
"We have a very safe product. We don't have hormones in our milk or antibiotics and we don't want any radioactive isotopes in our milk either."
The CFIA is also working with Public Safety Canada, the FDA, the World Health Organization and the government of Japan, Danjou said.
"This is an international effort and a governmentwide effort."
In a joint statement Wednesday, the United States' FDA and Environmental Protection Agency said radiation findings are to be expected in the coming days, and "are far below levels of public health concern, including for infants and children."
Without understanding the concepts of internal and external radiation exposure, scientists continue to broadcast redundant information by stating that the amount of iodine-131 is minuscule compared with what a person would be exposed to on a round-trip crosscountry flight or watching TV.
Although the CFIA is not doing any additional testing of domestically produced food at this time, the agency said that if testing for radiation becomes necessary, it will inform the public.
Health Canada says it is not accepting dairy products from Japan into Canada without acceptable documentation verifying their safety.
Earlier last week, Simon Fraser University nuclear scientist Kris Starosta said radiation from the Japanese nuclear reactor damaged in the March 11 earthquake has been detected in B.C. seaweed and rainwater samples.
Following the Chernobyl incident in 1986, levels of iodine-131 were four times higher than what scientists have detected in the rainwater in recent weeks, he said.
Trace amounts of radioactive iodine have also been detected in Ontario and New Brunswick. All are suspected to be from Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant.
Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.