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Research - Radioactive Contamination

On Nov 22, 2011, at 10:23 PM, Kathy Gilbeaux wrote:
A new report was published on November 14, 2011.

Radioactive substances spewed out by the quake-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant have likely spread to western Japan and Hokkaido, according to a team of Japanese, U.S. and European scientists.

Their findings were published in the Nov. 14 online edition of the Proceedings of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

PNAS - Abstract - Cesium-137 deposition and contamination of Japanese soils due to the Fukushima nuclear accident
Cesium-137 deposition and contamination of Japanese soils due to the Fukushima nuclear accident (5 page .PDF file)
On Nov 22, 2011, at 5:55 PM, Kathy Gilbeaux <redacted> wrote:
I apologize.  I saw her article a few days ago.  I remember that I spent several hours researching related information to the statements in her blog, and exploring links found in the other related information.  At that time, I had not received any inquiries on the topic.  So I focused on the bar code issue because of her statement (at the bottom), and because one of my friends was questioning the same issue.  It seemed to me that they were both describing the bar code issue . . .
Does the EAN-13 bar code show the country of origin?

No, the GTIN (the bar code number) does not imply any significance.

A GTIN starts with the GS1 Prefix of the GS1 Member Organisation that allocated a GS1 Company Prefix to a company to allow them to generate GTINs and bar code their products. This does not mean that the product was manufactured in a specific country or by a specific manufacturer, it may have been produced anywhere in the world.
Today, I spent some additional time researching the statements made in her blog.  She is already aware of the FDA statement . . . . . . as she has a link to it in her blog.
In researching her statement . . . “Three major corporations have stated that they are sourcing ingredients from Japan: Kellogg's, General Mills, and PepsiCo. These companies combined produce a vast proportion of the products on our store shelves today. There are probably more companies doing the same, these are just the ones I know about.” . . . I randomly chose General Mills to investigate and although I did not find any information directly supporting her statement, I did find the following information . . .
Promoting Global Food Safety – General Mills Corporate Social Responsibility 2011 (see page 15, of 86 .PDF) . . . . . . It stated that General Mills was collaborating with the Partnership Training Institute Network (PTIN) through the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to develop a food safety curriculum that can be broadly shared.
The (PTIN) – (APEC) information led me to this website . . .
APEC – Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) – Partnership Training Institute Network (PTIN)  Perhaps there is more information available from APEC that is not currently on this website

Some of her concerns might stem from the information found in this report (also cited in her blog) . . .
Congressional Research Service – Japan’s 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami: Food and Agriculture Implications (15 page .PDF file). . .
Here is the most recent import alert on items from Japan (published October 21, 2011) . . .
If I see any other relevant information on this topic, I will call your attention to it.
. . . . . . . . . . .
Furthermore, currently labeling laws do not require companies making products that are processed, meaning where at least one ingredient is mixed with another, from lotions to sunscreens, makeup to toothpaste, from shampoos to conditioners to foods and medicines that we consume to disclose where those ingredients are sourced from. Put simply, for example, in a box of cereal, I have no idea if the ingredients in that box that make up that cereal are from the United States, China, or Fukushima, Japan or all three. I just have no idea.  
Companies that market single ingredient items are required to list country of origin. For example, if I go to the store today, I can purchase a bag of peas and turn over the bag to find where those peas are sourced from. On the other hand, if I go to the store today and purchase a bag of peas mixed with carrots, this rule to let me know country of origin no longer applies. In the second case, corporations are not required to disclose the country of origin on those peas and carrots since it is processed, two ingredients mixed together. To inform consumers, both single item products and processed products should be held to the same standard. The labels of both products should list the country of origin for ingredients. 
Under current law, companies that make processed items are able to simply list the ingredients on the labels and print on the labels "Distributed by... somewhere, USA" or "Manufactured in somewhere USA" or "Made in the USA" whereas in reality, in most if not all cases, one or more of the ingredients in these products are sourced from somewhere outside the United States.  
Current labels of processed goods do nothing to help me make informed decisions for my family. As mentioned "Distributed by somewhere USA", or "Manufactured In somewhere, USA" or "Made in USA" gives me absolutely no information as to the country of origin of the actual ingredients that formulate that product.  
As a citizen who wants to be an informed consumer, I am asking for the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) to be modified to include the The Consumer Right To Know Act whereby as a consumer I have the right to know the country(ies) of origin of the ingredients from processed goods, just as I already have the right and ability to know country of origin information with single ingredient items like frozen peas or fresh fruit. 
To be clear, I am not asking for the labels on processed products to specify the country of origin for each ingredient. For example, I am not requesting labeling of the country of origin of sugar in a particular processed food, or of a particular chemical in sunscreen. I understand that some companies do not want to disclose what they consider to be proprietary information.  
However, I do want to be an informed consumer whereby labeling on the packaging tells me any country that is the source of any ingredient in the product. If, for example, a certain item has ingredients sourced from three different countries, say, China, United States, and Brazil, then companies under the Consumer Right to Know Act, would be required to state on their label “Product of China, USA, and Brazil.”


-----Original Message-----
From: Michael.D.McDonald
To: Kathy Gilbeaux <redacted>
Sent: Mon, Nov 21, 2011 9:19 am
Subject: Re: Sourcing Food and Drugs From Fukushima and Japan


Actually, her story is different.  She called the manufacturers about their products were coming from and found that there are large industrial areas within radiation exposures of Japan. 
She supposedly has fairly detailed information on this.  She did not mention anything to do with bar codes.


-----Original Message-----
From: Kathy Gilbeaux <redacted>
To: redacted
Sent: Sun, Nov 20, 2011 8:18 pm
Subject: Seeking evidence to support woman's radiation claim.

Hello Al,

I hope you are doing well.  I saw an article and was wondering if perhaps you had seen any solid evidence confirming the opinion of the woman in the article.  I don't want to pass along any unfounded rumors, so I was seeking some evidence to back up this claim.

This woman claims that a lot of food and over the counter drugs for US consumption are processed within areas of relatively high radiation exposure in Fukushima.  Her reasoning in this article seems to stem from the fact that EAN-13 bar codes, the digits associated with country of origin don't necessarily specify where the product was manufactured, but rather where the bar code itself was registered. So, for example, a product manufactured in China and sold in France could have an EAN-13 bar code identifying it as a "French" product.  She makes the claim that radiated products could be involved, simply because we don't know for sure where products are actually from.

I am wondering if you have seen any proof that radiated products are being imported (instead of "could be" imported).

Thanks so much,
Kathy Gilbeaux

(see references at the bottom)

Here's a loaf of bread. Looks good enough to eat right?

What if I told you it was Made in the USA. You'd still eat it, right?
How about if I told you it was made in the USA but there were ingredients in that bread that were sourced from somewhere within close proximity to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant that is still leaking nuclear cancer causing material into the air, water, and soil today? It doesn't look so appealing anymore does it.
Here's the problem: Companies are hiding behind Made in USA or Manufactured in the USA to make us think that we are getting something nice and wholesome from the United States of America whereas in reality this tells us absolutely nothing about where the ingredients formulating the product have actually come from. I don't know where the ingredients from that bread are coming from. Your guess is as good as mine! You could be consuming something from the USA or something from around Fukushima, Japan (and big companies are actually doing this! blog on Corporate Responses). I just don't know.

Does the EAN-13 bar code show the country of origin


-----Original Message-----
From: Michael.D.McDonald
To: Kathy Gilbeaux <redacted>
Sent: Sat, Nov 19, 2011 5:29 pm
Subject: Fwd: Sourcing Food and Drugs From Fukushima and Japan


This woman claims that a lot of food and over the counter drugs for US consumption are processed within areas of relatively high radiation exposure in Fukushima.  We should not put this up without researching it.  But it is worth looking into the claims a bit, in case there is evidence that this is true.   Perhaps, this is a job for Alister.

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