Don’t eat the fish! They’re contaminated

Annastashia Goolsby

Polar bears along the coast of Alaska are suffering from fur loss and open sores. Starfish on the West Coast are disintegrating into piles of white goo and Pacific Herring are bleeding from their gills and eyes.

Despite this knowledge, the government refuses to announce how much radiation is infecting our atmosphere. It should be obligatory that this information is released regardless of the dosage present; because the list goes on.

The population of sockeye salmon from Alaska is at a historic low, thousands of birds are dropping dead in Oregon and sea lions along the California coast are experiencing an unusual mortality rate, according to Peak Oil.

All this horrible death and disease to our marine animals can be indirectly linked to the explosion of the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant. When the 9.0 magnitude Tōhoku earthquake hit northern Japan in March 2011, it caused a tsunami that destroyed the power plant, which oozed toxic radiation throughout the country and into the Pacific Ocean.

Thanks to the currents circulating the northern Pacific Ocean and the planet’s placement of continents, the West Coast of the United States, Alaska and Mexico were directly affected and continue to suffer three years later.

So why is seafood still being sold and encouraged to eat three times a week? Here’s a hint: it’s not so that we get our fulfillment of omega-3 fatty acids.

We live in a greedy country that cares more about money than its people. If fish were to be taken off the market, not only would it cause mayhem in the entire United States, it would be an immense profit loss.

The sales of fishing licenses, stamps, tags and permits generate $25 billion a year in federal, state and local taxes, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

In 2012, the U.S. imported approximately $17 billion in edible fishery products and exported $5 billion, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

It is apparent why the government has not put a red flag on the sale of seafood in our country, but it does not mean that it is a safe product to keep consuming.

According to the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, a dose of radiation less than 10 millisieverts (mSv) has no direct evidence of effects on human health. A dose of 10-10,00 mSv creates an increased risk of cancers such as lung, skin and breast cancer.

The government has not released a specific number as to the amount of radiation in our ocean and air, but claims, “we don’t really need to do that because we’re predicting very low levels.”

It is deceiving that we are not being informed how much radiation from Fukushima we are actually living in, especially because a “low level” is still considered toxic.

Prolonged exposure to a low dose of radiation can damage cells over time that when repairing itself, errors are made. This can lead to cancer even after years or decades have passed, according to the World Health Organization.

If U.S. consumers are safe to eat seafood from the Pacific Ocean, then why are we not specifically being informed on the level of radiation present? Why are thousands of marine animals dying and developing disease at the same time?

The radiation leaking from Japan still poses a threat to the West Coast and the Pacific Ocean. There are traces in our fish and that is the seafood we are buying and ingesting into our body.

A word of advice for diehard seafood eaters: consume what is caught from the East Coast. There’s a better chance it is not contaminated.