“After the catch was unloaded, samples were taken to a nearby lab, to which the Guardian was granted rare access. Staff dressed in white overalls, masks, hats and gloves sliced octopus tentacles into chunks, then wrapped them in plastic to be taken into an adjoining room for testing.
On this occasion, as on every other day since fishing in Soma resumed at the end of June, the two radiation-measuring devices in the lab revealed not even the slightest trace of radioactive iodine-131, and caesium-134 and -137. In March, the government introduced stricter acceptable radiation levels in seafood, increased from 500 becquerels per kilo to 100 becquerels.
“There may be very tiny amounts, but they are so small they don’t even register on equipment as sophisticated as this,” says Noriaki Haga, the fisheries official in charge of testing. The octopuses are tested again after they have been boiled, in preparation for sale.”
The article about the resumption of fishing by the Soma fishermen had something bothersome to it. The article says that the octopus tentacles were sliced into chunks and then taken to be tested. So,basically they are only measuring the part of the octopus that does not have any “internal” organs”. Does this mean that they are only selling “tentacles” and the rest of the animal is discarded? Do they test the rest of the animal to find out the proper way to dispose of it, in case, it tests as being contaminated?
And, then goes on to say “On this occasion, as on every other day since fishing in Soma resumed at the end of June”. What does this mean? Does it mean that they are only testing the catch “every other day”? Or testing is only done, every other day, and the catch sits overnight and is tested the next day?
The last part is most interesting. The accepted level of radiation is 100 becquerel per kilogram of seafood. 1 kilogram is 2.2 pounds. What the article does not mention is what percentage of “catch” is tested. Are they just taking a few samples and then calling the entire catch “clean”? Since octopus are free ranging animals, so to speak, how can they actually know that the “entire” catch is clean? Do they test each animal before it is sold? It is the “lack” of information that was given that should keep most people from eating the seafood.
With all the other incidents of “what is not being told” that have been pointed out, it would be no surprise to find that the “seafood” testing would also fall into this category.
*2,000 pounds in a US ton. In the UK, a ton is equal to 2,240 pounds (1,016 kg).
Justin McCurry in Soma, Fukushima prefecture
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 9 August 2012 10.58 EDT
* I would prefer that no one ate octopus, they are intelligent and should not be “gobbled” down as a “meat” item.