Should We Be Concerned About Radioactive Fish After the Fukushima Dai-ichi Meltdown?

Categories: Chow Bella

Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Nuclear Regulatory Commission officals at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex.
In the aftermath of radiation spills from Japan's Fukushima nuclear reactor in the 2011 earthquake, one question remains regarding its effect on our seafood: Is it safe to eat?

In a recent article, the Los Angeles Times reports that, "according to the scientists who are studying the issue, the short answer is no."

What do Valley chefs and restaurateurs have to say? While some agree there is little cause for concern, others aren't so sure -- and a few say there are more pressing threats to the safety of our seafood than the spread of contamination from Fukushima into the Pacific Ocean. What do you think?

See also: 13 Halloween Treats That Valley Chefs Are Giving Out This Year

Chef James Ducas,
LON's and Last Drop at the Hermosa

We source a lot of seafood from the coast of California: Santa Barbara spot prawns, local halibut, uni, abalone, black cod, and others. We are aware of the radiation factor. That's why we use a sustainable company like Kanaloa Seafood, which makes sure our product is safe and up to its standards before getting it to us. The fish is tested at the source and again at their facility to ensure that it's safe and no levels have been recorded higher than allowed by the U.S. government.

Adam Allison
Chef and Owner, Frank. Food Truck

From what I've read and heard (my father works at the nuclear plant in Arizona), it's nothing to lose sleep over. There is radiation in everything. Though, like any food we consume, we need to keep a watchful eye on it.

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Michael O'Dowd
Chef and Partner, Renegade by MOD, Wicked Six Bar & Grill by MOD

As an avid fisherman, I know that around the plant in Japan, the fish are 2,000 to 3,000 more radioactive (they've seen this in the rockfish). Scientists have been testing species of fish within our waters and say they are fine to eat. I think with continued testing and scientists on board, we should be forewarned if something arises.

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These so called chefs are a bunch of fools!

I would not trust anyone to tell me my fish is safe from radiation!

The USA gets fish and other seafood from the same waters and from Canada, China, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc. etc.

The following is from GlobalResearch dot ca and dot org

On a test made on 15 dead tuna, all 15 were found to be contaminated with radiation. Of the fish being sold to Canada, in 2012, the Vancouver Sun recorded the number of specimens testing positive for Cesium-137, namely: 100 per cent of monkfish, carp, seaweed and shark; 94% of cod and anchovies; 93% of tuna and eels; 92% of sardines; 91% of halibut; 73% of mackerel.


This is completely irresponsible. None of these people have any clue on this issue yet are telling people this seafood is all completely safe to eat with no question. Sustainable or organic has nothing to do with radiation levels, even these foods can be contaminated. The US intervention level, what is being cited as "safe" is not a level of safety. It is the level where the government would pull food off the market. The US intervention level is 1000 bq/kg. The level where food is pulled off the market in Japan is 100 bq/kg. Huge difference and the FDA does not assure safety up to 1000 bq/kg. Science also does not back that up. Even with the much lower level in Japan kids are being found all over northeast Japan with cesium 137 in their urine. It is assumed to be due to their diet. With diet changes most see that go down.

Nobody here who is assuring the public the food is all safe to eat can honestly do so. The science community right now is unsure. Levels around the US west coast are expected to reach levels as high as after all the Pacific bomb testing and the University of Alaska is urging the US govt to finally fund radiation testing of the Pacific. As far as any seafood hauled in the US or elsewhere and imported here it is NOT being tested by any US agency. They declared this a non issue and are doing no routine testing on any incoming food. 

The start of the ocean radiation plume is just beginning to reach the west coast. So this very likely could be a problem, without testing it is all just living on hope that what you eat isn't contaminated. The US seafood industry is hoping people just buy the nonsense that everything is safe without any testing because PR is cheaper than testing. 


"the short answer is no."

To which question? Whether we should be concerned as the headline says or "is it safe to eat?" in the post. Confusingly written. 

ExpertShot topcommenter

I can't believe the bullcrap that a couple of these food service workers put out about not having to worry about harmful levels of radiation in our food supply.  They haven't seen "thoughtful" reporting because they aren't looking.  Here's a number of stories about how we have a problem NOW with consuming ionizing radioactive particles found in our foods.  I can't believe people are still ignorant on this matter.

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