Doctor's Note

Unfortunately, our oceans have become humanity’s sewers. Everything eventually flows down into the sea. This has implications for other aspects of seafood safety:

More on infertility in:

Cigarette manufacturers’ protection of stockholders over the public is not unique to that sector. More industry hijinks in:

The greatest radiation exposure risk comes not from Fukushima fallout, or the polonium naturally found in seafood, but from doctors. Check out Cancer Risk from CT Scan Radiation

For further context, also see my associated blog posts: Top 10 Most Popular Videos of 2013How Risky Are CT Scans?Fukushima Radiation & SeafoodAre Dental X-Rays Safe?Dealing with Air Travel Radiation Exposure; and Ginger & Lemon Balm for Radiation Exposure.

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  • LumLum2500

    So what about seaWEED from Japan after Fukushima?

    • Amy P.

      Don’t eat it. Get it from Maine

  • Coacervate

    Do you ever feel like, i dont know, i just cant shake this overpowering urge to dig a big hole in the back yard and climb in.

    Obituary: Planet Earth, aged 4.5 billion years, finally died of a thousand cuts. Donations may be sent to the glow-in-the-dark roach foundation.

    • Sarah Tabler

      I could not agree more!! I feel like this daily! Cursed humans >_>

  • Noni

    What about swimming in the Pacific here in California?

  • elsie blanche

    A bunch of USA’s food is grown in California, lots of fruit and veggies and nuts and seeds…..wondering if that toxic air drifting over from Japan lends itself to the accumulation of this junk in our vegan staples?! What’s going to happen if/when one of California’s nuke reactors implodes due to an earthquake?

    • Keith Augusto

      Yeah and California has no rain because Gov jerks use CHEMTRAILS to dry the atmosphere.

      • kirkmcloren

        Actually it is due to jet fuel. The phenomena is called Global dimming and is real unlike CO2. The CO2 lines have been 100% absorbed all your life. More has only second order effects. Gore was too smart to take on general aviation so stupped CO2 instead.

  • Merio

    This huge problem is brought to you by the Nuclear Industry that wants to play with forces that are far from being adequately understood…

    • b00mer

      The fission process and its risks are well understood. The problem is they don’t care.

  • Thea

    A “pound a month” would be extremely easy to meet, I would think. On more than one occasion, I have heard “experts” recommend eating fish at least once a week. Eat fish 4 times a month and one could easily hit a pound. While I understand that the science is not yet conclusive, if the suggested harmful limit of a pound a month is true, then bye, bye sperm for those males following mainstream nutrition advice.

    On one hand, I think, “so sad”. On the other hand, there are too many humans already ruining the oceans. …

    • Amy P.

      The “norm” for sperm count has gone from 80,000/in2 to 20,000/in2 in the last 10 years.

      • Thea


    • kirkmcloren

      So Cal fish and game advises fish caught within 50 miles of the shore to be consumed a maximum of twice per YEAR

  • SheilaTS

    I saw seaweed was a biggest slice on the pie chart after seafood. I’m assuming that needs to be avoided too.

  • Sharynski

    Is Maine seaweed safe for consumption?

    • Amy P.

      Yes, so far.

  • Plantstrongdoc

    This is the biggest experiment of them all: How many years will it take for one species to destroy a planet. Within the last 100 – 200 years we have polluted the oceans with dioxin, mercury, nuclear waste and prescription drugs, polluted the air with dust, smoke and harmful gases from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, natural gas, and gasoline, not to mention the greenhouse effect, we have destroyed the ozone layer making it dangerous to get vitamin D from its original source – the sun, deforestation to produce livestock (which ironically turns out to kill us prematurely), species become extinct because of human behaviour, we process food so much that it does not look like food anymore, and then wonder why we get sick, we release GMO into the environment etc, etc…….Humans are great….

  • Coacervate

    Is there a forum for Dr Greger’s work or for the WF/PB community? I would be grateful for information, thanks.

  • Lisa

    Dr. Greger, You’ve done a number of videos on the health benefits of Green Tea. But what about radioactivity in Green Tea imported from Japan or China? How can we be sure the tea we’re drinking is safe?

    • Coacervate

      Good question. But radioactive muck is only one factor. Chinese rice is loaded with cadmium, but so is clean, green New Zealand produce and meat:

      “In New Zealand the group with the highest cadmuim levels are the vegetarians…”

      and the meat that is too poisonous to export?… cat and dog food.

      So how do we know our food is safe? We dont, we cant, We are powerless. I tried to make my own soil, but if the raw materials are loaded with heavy metal, then so is the compost.

      In the USA it is arsenic in rice. This is just the little icy tip of the berg we see/hear about. What behemoths are lurking beneath the surface?

      I know. Lets reproduce ourselves faster. 8, 9 10 billions. Vison that one. The teeming masses all working and praying together to make the Commons a paradise. la la la Technology will save us. Run Logan, Run!

      • preff

        “Clean, green New Zealand”?? Just do a search on pesticide use in NZ and you might want to rethink that.

        • Amy P.

          I think he was being sarcastic

    • LumLum2500

      I get organic green tea from EarthFare, made in the U.S.A.

      • shea

        Call them and ask how much fluoride is in the tea. Ask if they have even measured it. Organic or non-organic tea, apparently tea pulls a lot of fluoride from soil. Do you add lemon to tea? I’ve read that adding lemon to tea dramatically increases aluminum in the tea.

        • Amy P.

          BLACK tea already has high levels of AL in it. The lemon makes the absorption rate go up a bit.
          Herbal tea has much less AL in it.

      • kirkmcloren

        tea concentrates fluorine.

    • As for teas from Japan, you may want to look
      for teas grown in regions far south of Fukushima– especially the Kagoshima prefecture, the second largest tea-growing area and thousands of kilometres away. A windshift during a critical period brought radionuclides back onto some parts of the main island. Initially, some samples of teas from Shizuoka, Japan’s largest tea-growing region, showed evidence of Fukushima’s footprint; according to the Shizuoka prefecture,teas tested in 2012 and 2013 appeared to be safe.

      Still, Japan’s federal government says that
      tea leaves are among the “food items from which 1/2 of the
      maximum limits for radioactive cesium has been detected,” and monitoring is continuing. (That’s from a March 2014

      I’ve been reporting on the story for a while now. Mushrooms and seaweeds seem to soak up radionuclides like sponges. What’s really pissing me off is restaurants outside of Japan selling dishes made with potentially contaminated ingredients, including Japan’s fish.

      Japan’s system of monitoring leaves lots of power in the hands of the locals, not the feds. That, too, is disturbing.


      For more on tea, see

      Could somebody tell me how to create hyperlinks in these comments?

  • Darryl

    I’m not convinced by the Mangano & Sherman paper ( economic factors like foreclosures were hitting hard in the U.S. at the time ).

    As xenobiotic hormesis appears to be an important mechanism for disease prevention by whole plant based diets, I think its worth perusing the extensive literature on its academic predecessor radiation hormesis ( ), as a number of cellular mechanisms are shared. A worthwhile summary presentation: As its a difficult argument I don’t expect hormesis to appear in mainstream sources in the near-term, but I believe I’m far from the first health oriented vegan to find the subject fascinating.

    • Coacervate

      iS your brother named Darryl?

  • LumLum2500

    I worry more about the cosmic radiation Dr. Greger is exposed to during all his plane trips!

  • Pandabonium

    The “study” you cited about infant deaths is more than controversial, it is downright shamefullly bad science. As Michael Moyer pointed out in Scientific American, if they had not just compared deaths in the four weeks prior to the Fukushima Daiichi accident and rather had gone back to the beginning of the year, they would have discovered that infant mortality had actually declined. Not saying that the accident wasn’t bad or dangerous (I live only 100 miles from the damned thing!) but that study was not at all scientific and IMHO does not deserve to be referenced here.

  • LynnCS

    I was going to ask about seaweed and other Japanese foods too. I like a lot of the macrobiotics type foods from Japan.

  • Osher

    When I was a child, my mother would take me to Buster Brown Shoes. Back in those days, I climbed up on this boxy thing and had my feet x-rayed. 65 years later, I’m wondering whether I’m going to get cancer of the feet.

    • hahahehe

      that’s the funniest comment i’ve read for a long time anywhere. I remember standing in line at a school and being given a pink sugar cube of polio vaccine, we all thought it was so wonderful. And we all had a huge scar on our upper arm near the shoulder from the ugly small pox caused by those immunizations. My scar is still visible.

  • Ji Kang

    Hi Dr. Greger, first of all I like to thank you and your staff for doing such a wonderful job informing the public on nutritional health.I’ve got a question and wondering if you have any opinion or answers to them, your time is greatly appreciated. I’ve noticed you’ve placed a great deal of emphasis on eating and incorporating green leafies in our diet for optimal health, however with the recent years fukushima catastrophe, could you give us any real information on how safe consuming these broad leaf vegetables really are, especially if you’re near the west coast, there seems to be so much misinformation out on the internet there is much confusion. I try to adopt healthy eating habits for my family, and I spread the vegan gospel, whenever I can, to my friends and community alike, but I’m particularly concerned for children bc they’re more vulnerable due to their growth development. Thank you

  • Arjan den Hollander

    LOL 120 – 138 lung cancer deaths per year per 1000 smokers!

    Not a single person would smoke and not a single siggarette would be sold if it were anywhere near those numbers. That’s just a complete fabrication those numbers.

    I would be dead 3 times over as would half the people who smoked for 4 years. This is clearly not true as most smokers only start showing irreversable debillitating signs of damage after decades of smoking.

    I got a lot of respect for you Dr. Greger after watching numerous usefull video’s, problem is always that reputation is lost faster than it is gained.

    This just shreds your reputation quoting obvious nonsense, you should remove this video or at least the quoted smokers research bit. Since its clearly fuzzy math and done or written by chimps.

    I’ll be watching out for disinformation in your video’s a lot more keenly from now on, as you are degraded from guru to meer mortal :)

    Regards, Arjan den Hollander.

    • Wade Patton

      never be led blindly, always question authority, learn how to KNOW the best science available.

      Dr. Greger and I don’t agree exactly on everything, but I dare say that most who don’t eat as he suggests-suffer from it.

      Helped me bunches. Just one tiny example GERD had completely stopped my “fizzy water” consumption. Yesterday I got to ENJOY a San Pellegrino for the first time in years. Today I went French with the classic Perrier. Of course weight is down and all that other “jazz”.

      PS: I simply don’t care what he says about tobacco or smoking because I quit nicotine (second time is TUFF, but i never burned it-cannot stand ciggy smoke (both parents smoked through my childhood), instant headache and stuffiness and stinkyism.) long before I learned how to eat properly. Some smokey things aren’t so terrible.

  • In that table on polonium concentration in surface seawater, to what degree do the differences in numbers matter?

  • Greg

    Dear Dr. Greger,

    I am concerned about the Fukushima radiation effecting California farms. Most of the berries and vegetables my family consumes are grown in California, near the Pacific Ocean. I would like to know if our foods contaminated by radiation? Organic or not aren’t all farms exposed? Are there any studies on matter?

    I haven’t found any solid evidence but there are alarming articles online about the situaiton:

  • Keith Augusto

    AMERICAN POLICY….You don’t get sick we don’t make money. Brought to you by FDA USDA EPA and any other paid off Greedy branch. For the corporation by the corporation.

  • Ariel Gail MacLean

    Please, please Dr. Greger, will you put your world-class resources to bear in giving us all an overdue update on the ongoing Fukushima radiation exposure in our food supply. There are many Independent Scientists documenting total loss of multiple species along West Coast areas, and this runs the gamet from sea vegetables to ocean animals. What about the very high levels recorded way inland and on both coasts? Doesn’t this beg the question of possible contamination of NA’s prime agricultural land? We have no other way to be informed because our government agencies are in total blackout and suppression of independent data collectors is widespread. It has been nearly 4 years now, and the pace and degree and complexity of the contamination has accelerated, not diminished, and as we all know, radioactive contamination bio-accumulates which means whatever snapshot was taken years ago of this problem is irresponsibly misleading. Someone needs to help us and I think you are qualified for this job.

    • cyndi

      Yes….would love an update. We live right on the Southern Oregon Coast.

      • Ariel Gail MacLean@yahoo

        This so-called nutrition advocacy site only monitors negative comments. They do not respond to what I would consider to be truly citizen interactive requests which matter to us.

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          We’re working on it! I see the comments, but we have so many! Thanks for your patience I’ll look into an update ASAP and put it right here! I wrote about BMAA in a more recent post. Many are inquiring about the safety of algae, too. I intend to tackle these topics in a new post. Please stay tuned!

  • Marina Chavez

    Interesting they didn’t test to see if degutted shrimp had less radiation after cooked. My guess is cooking also increases the toxic load of all types, such as pesticides on produce.

  • Charzie

    To anyone concerned about the lingering, ongoing, effects of Fukushima, I’m sure this will put things into perspective. So, so sad.

  • JS Baker

    Radioactive waste will continue to pour into the Pacific at Fukushima for another 100 years or more, according to Arnie Gundersen, co-founder and chief engineer at Fairewinds Energy Education. For the truth about Fukushima see this 20 min. talk by nuclear energy expert Arnie Gundersen, who’s life mission is to freely and courageously share with the world his knowledge and ongoing research on nuclear energy safety. Arnie exudes the same generous spirit and scientific grounding as Dr. Greger as they both try to help us understand what is healthy for our bodies and our planet.

  • Sarah Tabler

    And to think all of these health and environmental scares would be avoided if human beings never existed! Goodness, we sure love to ruin everything!

  • Fukushima’s radiation is now hitting North America’s Pacific coast. Here’s an update.