Site temporarily down and Fukushima vegetables

First of all, the ABC Buhlert site was temporarily down for a few days. Apologies for any inconveniences, however, the problem has been resolved now.

Meanwhile, MSN has a photo gallery of misshapen Japanese vegetables and plants, which have likely been mutated as a result of the Fukushima disaster. Apparently, it’s not quite certain whether the vegetables are really from the Fukushima prefecture and whether they have been mutated as a result of the radioactivity released during the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiishi reactor. At any rate, Japan Today published a rebuttal and WND, a rightwing US news site, also published a rebuttal and quotes one Arthur B. Robinson, a pro-nuclear biochemist, who claims that it’s all just scaremongering and that there were only a handful of genuine radiation victims in Chernobyl, while thousands of fetuses were aborted by Ukrainian women due to radiation panic. Why should we believe Arthur B. Robinson? Because he knows a few people who have won Nobel Prizes and other accolades.

The whole “only a handful of people died in Chernobyl due to radiation” thing (which is demonstrably false and yet refuses to die among the US pro-nuclear community), I got skeptical and googled Arthur B. Robinson. According to his Wikipedia entry, he is a Republican from Oregon, is in favour of nuclear power and opposed to abortion (which explains his concern for the fetuses of Chernobyl). Plus, he had a massive fall-out with one of the Nobel Prize winners cited as character references in the WND article. Oh yes, and he believes in intelligent design, all of which proves that we probably shouldn’t take Dr. Robinson too seriously.

Of course, we still don’t know whether the photos are genuine or whether the misshapen plants and vegetables are really from the Fukushima region or even from Japan. And misshapen vegetables can occur naturally. We have personally found misshapen tomatoes in our greenhouse, which is nowhere near Fukushima.

However, cases of mutated and oversized vegetables have been and continue to be reported in the Chernobyl region in Ukraine as well. And potentially contaminated produce from the affected regions in Japan will continue to be a problem for a long time, as this report from the Japan Daily Press about a butcher arrested for selling mislabeled beef from the Fukushima prefecture attests.

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