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Hiroaki Koide: “Adults in Japan Should Eat Contaminated Food” to Atone for Nuke Power

EXSKF May 5, 2012

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):

クリーンな食べ物はない。

There is no clean food.

残念ながら福島の事故は起きてしまい、全地球に汚染を広げてしまっている。そのため、クリーンとか安全という食べ物というものはありません。

Sadly, the Fukushima accident happened, and has spread contamination throughout the world. So there is no food that is clean or safe.

ただし、猛烈に汚れている食べ物から比較的安全な食べ物まで、連続的に分布している。それをどのように受け入れるかが問題。

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.

猛烈な汚染食品は原子力を進めていた方々に食べてもらう。東電幹部、原子力を進めてきた政治家や、学者に食べてもらう。そういう仕組みを作りたい。

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.

後は、原子力をここまで許してきてしまった大人たちに、汚染された食べ物を食べてもらって、子どもたちに汚染されていないものを食べさせてあげる。

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.

ただしそれを実現するためには、どの食べ物がどれだけ汚染されているのかを正確に検査する必要がある。その情報を提供するように東京電力に言っている

However, in order to achieve that, it is necessary to accurately measure the contamination levels. I’ve been telling TEPCO to provide that information.

その作業をしようとすると、膨大な作業になる。多くのお米・野菜・魚をきちんと検査することをしないと子どもたちに食べさせることはできない。

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…

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