THIS IS AN ACTIVE PETITION ~We are in the midst of an ongoing and seemingly incomprehensible radiation crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex in Japan. Some are saying "this is not Chernobyl" and for that matter it may turn out to be worse. Greenpeace released a report on March 25, 2011 which ranks the radiation leaking from Fukushima to date to be at Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) which is the the highest level and the same as Chernobyl after that catastrophe. We must remember that this crisis is far from over and will have serious health effects for many innocent people, with young children and the elderly being particularly vulnerable. The National Academies of Science issued a 2006 report on radiation exposure that concluded that even low levels of radiation can cause human health problems, including cancer and heart disease. And 25 years after Chernobyl, the United Kingdom still maintains restrictions on sheep production in parts of Wales because radioactive cesium continues to contaminate grazing lands. Now we are learning that the water pumped in from the ocean to cool the Fukushima reactors is flowing back to sea mixed with deadly plutonium, endangering sea life too. Until workers can find a way to somehow stop, contain and store it, dangerous levels of radioactivity will continue to spread to the ocean and the biosphere. Particulates in the form of radioactiive iodine and other radioisotopes from Fukushima have traveled across the United States as far as Massachusetts. Increased radiation is now being detected in cows milk in Washington, Vermont, and other states. While we continue to send our prayers and support to the people of Japan, it is clearly time to understand that this is a global crisis which will affect many nations, including the United States. Citizens in India, China, France and other countries are being told to carefully handle or not to eat large leafy green vegetables and some dairy products. Here in the US, closer downwind on the jetstream from Japan, we are STILL not receiving honest, accurate and consistent information from our government agencies. The FDA has announced that there is no need to test north Pacific fish for radioactivity, and the EPA announced scaling back monitoring of water and milk to quarterly testing only.
First, tell Congress and President Obama that we need to monitor all food and water imports from Japan, including the estimated annual 5 million gallons of bottled water, soft drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages containing water. Seafood shipments and other food products also are still being imported by the US.and they must be monitored immediately.
Next, tell Congress and President Obama that the Environmental Protection Agency must significantly expand the monitoring of air particulates, rain water, drinking water, and milk and to make the findings readily transparent and immediately available to the public.
Last, tell Congress and President Obama that the United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration should receive adequate funding for expanded food and water inspection both here and overseas and to communicate those findings immediately to the public. Congress must rethink our agricultural policies as well as international trade policies as they effect imports from other countries also trading with Japan.