Leaders on West Coast: Gov’t is “highly irresponsible… very negligent” for not testing in Pacific as Fukushima radiation arrives — Contamination of seafood is going to happen — “We don’t want to get cancer… We have a right to know if our fish is safe” — Gov’t: Testing ‘not required’

Saturday, February 8, 2014
By Paul Martin

ENENews.com
February 8th, 2014

Coast Reporter, Feb. 6, 2014: […] Radiation from the March 2011 nuclear accident arrived off the B.C. coast [in June of] last year, Robin Brown [at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans] said Tuesday. […] a report by five DFO scientists concluded that […] “the inventory of Fukushima radioactivity will almost entirely shift from the western to the eastern North Pacific during the next five years.” […] [It featured one model that] suggested ocean contamination would exceed levels of maximum fallout from nuclear tests and previous accidents such as Chernobyl, while the other model said levels would equal the amount of contamination that existed in 1990. […] the report cited “many reasons for study,” including human health and marine biota. Brown, one of the co-authors of the report, acknowledged that neither study factored in ongoing discharges from Fukushima after the March 2011 release.

Message from Annita McPhee, Tahlton Central Council president, to national Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo: “We cannot sit by and watch and wait to see what the full impacts of the Fukushima disaster will be on our salmon and our way of life […] To date, we have not seen or heard of Canada taking this issue seriously and working in a real way to address it.”

The Coast Reporter interviewed McPhee: “Some people are not eating their fish because they’re scared. Some people don’t want to feed it to their kids. We don’t want to get cancer. We already have lots of cancer up in our area. I mean, lots […] The Tahltan people have been very concerned about what’s going on. We get our fish from the Stikine River, but it comes from the Pacific Ocean […] As First Nations, we’ve got to come together and address this, force the government’s hand. We have a right to know if our fish is safe to eat.”

B.C. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip: “[The federal government’s inaction is] highly irresponsible. […] I think it’s certainly a legitimate concern […] Other jurisdictions — other countries — realize there is a very real potential for contamination. Unfortunately, Canada doesn’t seem to be taking any steps whatsoever to acknowledge this as a potential threat. […] It’s not only unacceptable, but it’s very negligent of the government of Canada.”

Sliammon Chief Clint Williams: “Our people really cherish salmon, it’s always been part of our culture, so we absolutely encourage [testing and full disclosure]. We want to make sure our food is safe. And it’s not just salmon either – it’s clams, geoducks, sea urchins […] I’m sure those concerns are shared all up and down the coast here.”

Former shíshálh (Sechelt) Nation chief Calvin Craigan: “If [contamination of natural foods from the sea is] going to happen in the long term, and it is, all First Nations have to get together and call for testing.”

Canadian Food Inspection Agency: “Based on our test results, as well as our ongoing assessment of information from a variety of expert resources, further testing of imported or domestic food products for the presence of radioactive material is not required”

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