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Radioactive Tuna from Japan Make Their Way to California

Although levels are higher than usual, the tuna is not thought to be harmful

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[ Science]

Radioactive tuna, which are thought to have been contaminated by the severely damaged Fukushima power plant, have started quickly working their way to the California coast. Levels of radioactive cesium have been much higher in specimens than recent years, leading experts to determine the radioactive bluefin tuna originated from that location. And while the levels are 10 times higher than they used to be, they are stilled considered safe to eat according to regulations adopted by the United States and Japan.

However, Daniel Madigan, leader author of Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, said it wasn’t his place to tell people what is or isn’t safe to consume. He added, “It’s become clear that some people feel that any amount of radioactivity, in their minds, is bad and they’d like to avoid it. But compared to what’s there naturally and what’s established as safety limits, it’s not a large amount at all.”

Five months after the tsunami wreaked havoc on Fukushima, a team of scientists began testing Pacific bluefin tuna for contamination, only to discover that those captured contained levels of ceisum-134 and cesium-137 which were higher than normal. In order to make sure this wasn’t some sort of fluke, they also ran tests on yellowfin tuna, which appeared to be a-okay when compared to its brethren.

Pacific bluefin tuna, which can grow to upwards of 10 feet in length, spawn in the waters off of Japan and swim to locations near California and Mexico, where they school. During their trip across the ocean, the tuna consume contaminated food such as krill and squid along the way. Although they tend to shed some of the radiation as they travel and grow, their bodies simply cannot expel everything it contains.

How do people feel about consuming radioactive tuna? You can find a smattering of tweets from various individuals on the subject below.

Oh good. In L.A. we can officially ask for a “Radio Active Tuna Roll”. Thanks to the arrival of polluted sea water from Japan. Mmmmmm
1 hour ago via Twitter for iPad · powered by @socialditto
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Radioactive tuna being caught off CA coast. Great for sushi that glows in the dark!
7 minutes ago via web · powered by @socialditto
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Radioactive tuna found off Californian coast | SmartPlanet http://t.co/FQGmmfug that was only a question of time. #nuclearpower is a no-go.
9 minutes ago via Timely by Demandforce · powered by @socialditto
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Won’t be doing any tuna recipes any time soon http://t.co/LO7kJ7E4 http://t.co/RDLZBOdX
11 minutes ago via Facebook · powered by @socialditto
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Mmmmm, radioactive tuna. Because I love eating anything with the label “not thought to be harmful.” http://t.co/8bgBFYFV
5 minutes ago via Twitter for iPhone · powered by @socialditto
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Radioactive Tuna from Japan Make Their Way to California
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  • Julia

    Radio Active tuna cs137 has a half- life of 30 years!!

  • harford

    crazy crazy, 10 times higher than normal but its ok to eat they think…so thier going to risk lives to keep makeing money..that’s sick…

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