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North Coast | Environment & Forest Defense

Fast Food Super Food: An Ocean Of Seaweed Salads
by Tomas DiFiore
Thursday Oct 25th, 2012 12:29 PM
Organic doesn't mean radiation free. In the category of organic products with multiple ingredients, availability may constrain production, so products are allowed to contain non-organic/GMO substitutes without any additional labeling requirements.
Prop 37 must pass.
Organic doesn't mean radiation free. In the category of organic products with multiple ingredients, availability may constrain production, so products are allowed to contain non-organic/GMO substitutes without any additional labeling requirements. Prop 37 must pass.

Frozen or refrigerated processed seaweed salads most always contain petrochemical dyes, and food additives which may be sourced from meat or fish, a concern for vegetarians and vegans.

Most food websites (Amazon, etc) advertise the Goma Wakame Sea Salad product by stating that it originates in Canada or that this product originates in the US. This is redundant, unnecessary and confusing. Country Of Origin Labeling requirements do not apply to processed foods. COOL http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/COOL

“Restaurants are not required to exhibit labeling for their food products. Labeling is required on unprocessed meats, fruits, vegetables and some nuts. Foods that are processed do not require labeling. The term processed in regards to the labeling law, means any item that has been cooked or altered. Cooked items and items that have combined ingredients are considered processed. A package of carrots would be considered unprocessed, but a package of carrots with dipping sauce would be considered processed.”


At 21food.com, and bizrate, hardware wholesale, shopzilla, there also is no mention of dyes and 'flavor enhancers' in the Product Description.

Almost all processed seaweed salads in delis, stores, and restaurants contain:
FD&C Blue #1 - banned in Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Norway
FD&C Yellow #5 - banned in Norway and Austria

When you eat things with Yellow 5, you lose zinc through your urine and saliva.
All the synthetic dyes are allowed to contain harmful contaminants like lead, mercury, arsenic, and benzidine.

Flavor enhancers, additives etc.
Disodium 5 – Guanylate (sources: fish, seaweed)
Disodium 5 – Inosinate (sources: primarily meat)
MSG

“As long ago as 1985, Pediatrics - the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics - described the following side effects of Yellow #5: allergies, thyroid tumors, lymphomas (cancer), chromosomal damage, asthma, and urticaria (hives). Even earlier, Cesarani (1978) described the bronchoconstriction of Yellow 5 as similar to aspirin in aspirin-sensitive asthmatics. The connection between this dye and asthma was the reason the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first required it to be listed by name on ingredient labels.”

“As of September, 2003, the FDA is aware of 20 cases from the scientific literature or in FDA post-marketing adverse event reports associating the use of blue dye in tube feedings with blue discoloration of body fluids and skin, as well as more serious complications. There have been 12 reported deaths and one case with an unknown outcome.

Disodium 5' -inosinate,
A flavor enhancer/intensifier that is almost always used in conjunction with MSG and sometimes disodium guanylate. It is a purine - a naturally occurring precursor to DNA and RNA - and is almost always derived from animal origin. Unlike disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate is completely ineffective without MSG.

Those who do not consume animal derived foods (vegetarians & vegans) should avoid this ingredient. http://www.befoodsmart.com/ingredients/disodium-inosinate.php


Organic doesn't mean RADIATION FREE.

What does the statement 'unaffected by the nuclear accident at Fukushima' mean. My mind questions the definition of the terms – what time frame first, just the initial nuclear accident or the ongoing nuclear catastrophe? Does unaffected mean tested, or just evaluated data (jet stream, ocean currents) and computer input model scenarios lacking any field surveys.

Marine environment products labeled “organic” may be either wild harvested (wild crafted) or they may be farmed. As of March 2012 there are no USDA/NOP “organic” standards for wild harvested sea vegetables, (currently undergoing discussion). For both seaweed and orange pulp, the NOP law now reads, if the amount required in commercial production is greater than that which can be supplied by 'Certified' Organic producers... then any variety can be used and the label need not reflect the change. Wildcrafted foods have strict certification rules by 'certifiers' (the current discussion is to merge the two).

http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5097523 [PDF] 18k
Non-organic Pacific kombu seaweed (in multi-ingredient organic products), if organic Pacific kombu seaweed is not commercially available. ...

http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5092174 [ZIP] 29k
Do the certification body's standards and/or procedures require them to verify that the waters utilized for the collection of wild seaweed and the ...

“How can Seaweed be Organic?
Aquaculture can be certified Organic by following the rules and regulations of the U.S. National Organic Plan (NOP) of the USDA.”(ed) But there aren't any rules or regulations in the (NOP) as of June 2012. It is the current discussion after having been Petitioned in March of 2012.

“The rules require testing of the wild areas for banned contaminants before harvest and the products themselves after harvest. The regulations also require all processing be done according to the NOP standards and in USDA Organic certified facilities.”

“There are no specific requirements or guidance on seaweeds in the FDA standards. Each certifying agency has drawn up specifications that must be met to receive their certification.” “Due to the listing at § 205.606, kelp and seaweed are agricultural products allowed as ingredients in processed products labeled as “organic.”

Organic kelp and seaweed are commercially available in the marketplace as certified organic by certifying agents. Given their placement on the National List, we cannot declare that kelp and seaweed are not agricultural and disqualify them from certification as organic.”

What about certified Organic Nori:

“Earth Circle Nori is certified by EcoCert, one of the largest and respected agencies.” Where are their Nori Sheets harvested? Earth Circle Nori is harvested in the Sea of Japan. The area is to the north of Japan and is not affected by the recent nuclear accident.”

“ECOCERT is a certification agency for organic, fair trade and good agricultural practices (GAP) standards. We are a family of companies with our presence in all the continents”. Visiting the ECOCERT STANDARDS page, it is revealed that there are no ECOCERT Organic Aquatic Plants Standards! http://www.ecocert.in/standards.php

You can buy ORGANIC Nori from Shandong Peninsula.
But consider the almost constant latitude of Fukushima and Tokyo, Seoul, and the Shandong Peninsula. Tokyo to Seoul - about 700 miles and S. Korea to Shandong - 114 miles.

Posted on Oct. 3, 2012
The National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) abruptly halted its inquiry last year into the dispersion of radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster after contacting the National Intelligence Service (NIS), it was belatedly revealed on Oct. 2.

How long does it take to act responsibly?

November 11, 2011
Cesium-137 hotspot detected in Seoul, South Korea - 1,000% normal background radiation.
http://enenews.com/cesium-137-hotspot-detected-in-seoul-south-korea-emitting-1000-normal-background-radiation

In March of 2012,
Detection of radiation in Japanese fishery imports on rise
South Korea is more frequently finding radioactive materials in fishery products from Japan but has no immediate plans to ban imports [...] In the first two months of the year, the country has detected traces of radioactive materials, such as cesium, in 32 separate shipments of fisheries products from Japan, according to the Animal, Plant and Fisheries Quarantine and Inspection Agency.
http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2012/03/08/34/0301000000AEN20120308001800320F.HTML

And in June 2012:
‘Breaking News’: South Korea bans 35 Japanese seafood products due to Fukushima radiation fears. South Korea placed a temporary import ban on 35 Japanese seafood products because of fears of lingering radiation contamination from last year’s devastating nuclear disaster.
http://enenews.com/breaking-news-south-korea-bans-35-japanese-seafood-products-due-to-fukushima-radiation-fears

Back in June 2011, the Korean Government had made a quick wrap of the situation in their report titled: Report of the Korean Government Response to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident. Lots of assurances, that all was well in Korea, “Unnecessary to feel concern about domestic inflow of the radioactivity from Japan”.

But the August 2011 Korean government Policy Report 00, using 2008-2009 research from South Korea shows the constant presence of Cesium (normal levels in seaweed).
http://www.oecd-nea.org/nsd/fukushima/documents/Korea_2011_08Policy00GovernmentResponsetoFukushimaAccident.pdf

Buried deep on page 24 is the “Table of the: Analysis Status of Radioactivity Concentrations in the Domestic Environmental Samples in Response to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident (as of May 31, 2011) and after the column for Investigation Results is a column titled Remark* (Normal Level). The normal levels for seaweed are known to show the presence of Cesium.”

What is interesting is how near Jeju, South Korea is to Shandong.

“Located in a southern part of Korea, apart from the peninsula, the weather is mild and warm throughout the year. The city is a well-known resort, with prestigious hotels and public casino facilities. In 2011, 9.9 million passengers flew between the two cities of Seoul and Jeju, making it the world's busiest passenger air route. Jeju welcomes over four million visitors from mainland Japan, and China every year. Another 6% of total travelers come in and out of Jeju by sea.”

Over 15 million tourists each year, and a government policy called Policy 00; add to that the Oct. 2, 2012 admission of a coverup ordered by the S Korean National Intelligence Service, and the value of Marine Aquatic Commerce - kind of makes one wonder. 55% of aquaculture production in South Korea, is produced by seaweed. Seaweed cultivation is mainly concentrated on the South western coast where almost 90% of cultivation of seaweed in South Korea takes place.

China Leads the world in production of GMO Sesame seeds and GMO Sesame Oil.
Type: Sesame Seeds- Hybrid: No- Cultivation Type: Gmo-
Place Of Origin: Hainan China (Mainland)
Sold at China Sky - Also listed on the Alibaba dot com Global Trade site (Food).
http://www.chinacsky.com/product/174768/Chinese_hulled_sesameseed.htm

Far Far Away, and across the world, the Irish Sea is one of the most radioactively contaminated seas in the world. Originally developed for chemically extracting the plutonium for use in nuclear weapons, reprocessing facilities were constructed in the US, Soviet Union, the UK and France.

Sellafield
The discharge of low level liquid wastes from the Sellafield site in the north west of England is the most significant source of artificial radioactivity in the Irish marine environment. Sellafield is located across the Irish Sea on the Cumbrian coast and is approximately 170 km (112 miles) from the north east coast of Ireland. The main activities at the plant include reprocessing of spent fuel from nuclear power reactors and storage of nuclear waste. The remaining two nuclear reactors at the site (the Calder Hall reactors) were closed down in March 2003 and are currently being decommissioned.
http://www.corecumbria.co.uk/tour/irishsea.htm

Sellafield discharges two million gallons of radioactive water into the Irish Sea every day at high tide. This includes a cocktail of over 30 alpha, beta and gamma radionuclides. BNFL admits that radioactive discharges in the 1970’s were 100 times those of today. As a result of these discharges, which include around half a tonne of plutonium, the Irish Sea has become the most radioactively contaminated sea in the world. Caesium-137 and Iodine-129 from Sellafield have spread through the Arctic Ocean into the waters of northern Canada and are having a bigger impact on the Arctic than the Chernobyl accident. Sellafield’s gas discharges of Krypton can be measured in Miami. Plutonium dust has been found in the houses of residents living along the Irish Sea coast.

La Hague is a French nuclear reprocessing complex operated by the government-owned Compagnie Générale des Matières Nucléaires (Cogema) and is situated on the tip of the Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy, France. It is the largest importer of foreign spent fuel in the world. Its client countries are Germany, Japan, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland, as well as French spent fuel.

Each year hundreds of millions of litres of radioactive waste are pumped into the English Channel from La Hague. The contamination spreads northwards along the North Sea coasts of Europe and can be measured in Nordic and even Arctic waters. The leukemia risk for children living near the plant is three times higher than the French average.

MAFIA TOXINS
Nuclear and Toxic Waste in the Mediterranean Sea
Kurt Sansone - Times of Malta Sun, 20 Sep 2009 09:23 CDT
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20090916/local/mafia-turncoat-says-funds-deposited-in-malta

Italian authorities have found a wreck with over 120 barrels of radioactive waste around 28 kilometres from the coast of Calabria in southern Italy. A local prosecutor said the Cunsky was one of 32 toxic ships sunk by the mafia in the Mediterranean. Sebastiano Venneri, vice president of the environmental group Legambiente, said former members of the 'Ndrangheta mafia have said that the crime syndicate was paid to sink ships with radioactive material for the last 20 years.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/6198228/Mafia-accused-of-sinking-ship-full-of-radioactive-waste-off-Italy.html

Mafia accused of sinking ship full of radioactive waste off Italy (Telegraph.co.uk)
Not only is this an environmental disaster on an unprecedented scale for Europe (worse than Chernobyl). Regional officials in Calabria have called on officials from the Italian State to take immediate action to verify the contents of the containers and investigate further into the other 40 toxic ships that are said to line the Mediterranean seabed. Scientific tests and satellite images carried out in the region reveal high levels of toxins and radioactive substances in areas along the Oliva River, located near the seaside town of Cetraro. Doctors and politicians have recently noted a sharp increase in the incidence of tumors and other pollution-related diseases among people living in these areas.

Shipbreaking – 30 years of full scale environmental consequences, a.k.a. catastrophe.
http://www.uss-bennington.org/shipbreakers/shipbreakers-1.html

Shipbreaking was once performed with cranes and heavy equipment at salvage docks by the big shipyards of the United States and Europe until the 1970s, when labor costs and environmental regulations drove most of the business to the docksides of Korea and Taiwan. Eventually, however, even these entrepreneurial countries started losing interest in the business and gradually decided they had better uses for their shipyards. This meant that the world's shipbreaking business was again up for grabs. In the 1980s enterprising businessmen in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan seized the initiative with a simple, transforming idea: to break a ship they did not need expensive docks and tools; they could just wreck the thing - drive the ship up onto a beach as they might a fishing boat, and tear it apart by hand.

Shipbreaking yards are clearly violating international and national laws (Basel Convention, requirements for environmental clearance, Labour Act, etc.) but western governments which are providing the ships ending their life in those ship graveyards, seem to remain deaf and blind at the time more ships have to be decommissioned in the next years, and the Bangladeshi government is mostly adopting a status quo on such a delicate issue.

Seaweed Farms to Sustainable Marketplaces: Oil spills have claimed thousands of seaweed farms since 2006 on the coastlines of the Philippines, South Korea, Timor, Indonesia Islands and Australia.

And finally: View #2053
Multimedia artwork "2053" - This is the number of nuclear explosions conducted in various parts of the globe 1945-1998 Run time: 14:25
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLCF7vPanrY

Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project's "Trinity" test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan's nuclear tests in May of 1998. "This piece of work is a bird's eye view of this history by scaling down a month length of time into one second.”
http://www.ctbto.org/specials/1945-1998-by-isao-hashimoto/

Where do your sea vegetables come from? Petrochemical dyes, plastic containers, flavor enhancers, constant refrigeration, … seaweed is not meant to be served like this. And there's no tradition here except the False Profit of the Tao Of The Corporate Way.

Consumers are educated in the shopping aisles, with competing imagery and fables (labels).
Prop 37 doesn't go far enough, but it's a foothold.

Tomas DiFiore
North Coast

ps: California North Coast Wildcrafted & Sustainably Hand Harvested Edible Seaweeds (from the Mendocino Coast) all tested Radiation FREE in 2011 and 2012. Several species throughout the season are tested each year. Two separate labs independent of each other were used. In years past, the seaweeds have also been tested for heavy metals.