Target: Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
Goal: Thoroughly test all imported seafood for sale in Canada
A tenth grade student recently found alarming levels of radioactive contamination in Canadian seafood while performing an experiment for school. Using a Geiger test, a method that the Canadian government stopped using the year after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, she found potentially dangerous levels of radioactivity in most seaweeds and fish. All of the items tested were purchased from supermarkets, and had passed inspection for sale in Canada.
To be considered radioactively contaminated by the International Atomic Energy Agency, food requires a reading of 1,400 counts over a 10 minute period. Some of the foods, particularly those imported from China and Japan, tested up to 1,800 counts per ten minutes, far above contaminated levels.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, or CFIA, has not used the Geiger test to sample imported food since 2012. Furthermore, as of 2014, it will be lifting enhanced import controls and testing imported seafood even less. According to a statement, through a sample of 200 imported foods, the CFIA has not found any levels of radioactivity above limits for food consumption.
According to the CFIA, though it continues to monitor levels of radioactivity in the waters in Asia, all necessary testing is done when food is exported. This experiment has made it clear that testing in other countries is not as thoroughly regulated, leading to unsafe foods being sold in Canadian marketplaces. Demand that Canada resume rigorous testing for imported seafood, ensuring that only uncontaminated foods reach stores in Canada.
Dear Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada,
A student recently found higher levels of radioactivity than what is deemed safe in many imported seafood products for sale in Canada. The student used a Geiger test to uncover readings of 1,800 counts in ten minutes in some foods, particularly those imported from China. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, food is considered contaminated at 1,400 counts in ten minutes.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has not used the Geiger method of testing for radioactivity since a year after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. It has also stated that it will call off the extensive testing methods after a sampling of 200 foods showed no concerning levels of radioactive contamination.
The CFIA states that most testing for radioactive contamination is done upon export. Despite this, it is clear that unsafe foods have been sold in Canadian grocery stores to Canadian consumers. I demand that Canada implement more thorough inspection measures to ensure that all foods on the market in Canada remain safe for human consumption.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Tom Puchner via Creative Commons