During the press conference in New York after the lecture on the status of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident and radiation contamination in Japan, Dr. Koide of Kyoto University repeated his mantra (or curse, to many Japanese) that the food contaminated with radioactive materials from Fukushima should be consumed by adults who have allowed the nuclear power plants.
From the Japanese transcript by Portirland blog (5/5/2012):
There is no clean food.
Sadly, the Fukushima accident happened, and has spread contamination throughout the world. So there is no food that is clean or safe.
But there is a continuous variety of food from extremely contaminated food to relatively safe food. The issue is how to accept [allocate] such food.
Extremely contaminated food should be eaten by people who have promoted nuclear power. TEPCO top management, and politicians and scholars who have promoted nuclear power. I would like to build such a system.
The rest of the contaminated food should be eaten by adults, who have allowed nuclear power to this extent, so that the non-contaminated food goes to children.
However, in order to achieve that, it is necessary to accurately measure the contamination levels. I’ve been telling TEPCO to provide that information.
To do that, it would be a huge task. But unless we inspect many samples of rice, vegetables, fish, we can’t let children eat them.
Well, I wonder how he is going to enforce his system. Some people have suggested some type of ID cards that will be required when purchasing food. With that system, if you are above certain age, you won’t be allowed to buy “clean” food.
Koide’s supporters almost always defend his position by pointing to the episode that Koide ate contaminated pastas from Italy after the Chernobyl accident because he thought he was partly responsible for the accident for having been a nuclear researcher and unable to stop nuclear power.
In the real world, Japanese children are being fed with radioactive food items in school lunches even after radioactive cesium is detected from the particular food items and even when there are safe (radiation-free) alternatives. Why? Because it is below the government-mandated safety limit. What good is testing? In the real world, mothers and fathers who want to buy clean food for their families are laughed at and even criticized for being selfish.
In such a world, Koide’s insistence that adults should eat contaminated food somehow fits well. And we’ll all go down…