Food Safety in Australia 1962 – Titterton et al Aust. Journal of Science

Food Safety in Australia 1962 – Titterton et al Aust. Journal of Science

The following is the complete 13 page paper on the contamination of the Australian food supply written, chiefly, the members of the Atomic Weapon Test Safety Committee. It was published in the Australian Journal of Science. It did not make it into the mass media or broader general commnunity for many years.

At the time of atomic testing, Authorities assured the public that food was perfectly safe and clean. The authors attribute the bulk of the contamination to “Global Fallout”. I believe this to erroneous. A larger proportion of contamination was due to the local fallout from British bombs detonated in Australia.

It will take a little time to upload all 13 jpg pages. It may provide a set of data which may provide a basis of comparison for contamination of food in Japan. How applicable the comparison may be is unknown given the differences between the two situations of contaminations, cultures, diets, shielding factors involving time indoors and outdoors etc. Still, it is a written of contaminated food when was monitored and then sold. Though the last atomic bomb in Australia was detonated in 1957, minor trials which involved chemical explosions which spread plutonium were conducted after that date. Basically the British packed up and left in 1964, after abandoning plans for further underground nuclear explosions in Australia. Though the paper if focussed on Strontium 90, Cesium is mentioned in the text.

The only exception to Australian government denials that atomic testing harmed the general populations I know of is the admission by Federal Minister of Health and Aging Micheal Wooldridge who stated in 2002 that “Nuclear Testing harmed people.” He was talking in relation to overseas press accounts that bone tissue secretly taken from deceased Australians had been used to monitor Radio Strontium uptake by US authorities.

Of course, nuclear veterans first reported the practice in the 1970s, when clear evidence of the stealing of human tissue for such examinations came to light in Brisbane. It is an ongoing scandal, there is no evidence that the practice has completely stopped in every nation and the secret use of human tissue after radiation emergencies is an ongoing hazard. Such activity requires kin permission.

Refer to the ARPANSA document “Ethical and Practical Issues Concerning ashed bones from the Commonwealth of Australia’s Strontium 90 program 1957-1978″, National Health and Medical Research Council, Austalian Health Ethics Committee (downloadible from the ARPANSA site, though the publication is now labelled as revoked).

Where the Sr90 in food ended up:

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