Yesterday, The California Report’s Central Valley Bureau Chief Sasha Khokha interviewed Dr. Howard Backer, Interim Director of the California Dept of Public Health, about traces of radioactive iodine emanating from Japan’s downed nuclear power plant that have been found in milk samples from cows in San Luis Obispo County.

During this crisis, try as we might, we’ve yet to find a health official or scientific expert who has described the amount of detected radiation as anything but negligible and a non-health risk. Dr. Backer was no exception. Listen below:

Howard Backer: Radioactive amounts in milk “minute” and “just at the level of detection”[audio:|titles=RadiationMilk1]

Radiation is “thousands of times” below level of concern and dept is “not afraid to pull product” from market if necessary[audio:|titles=RadiationMilk2]

Exact level detected given[audio:|titles=RadiationMilk3]

Radiocactive iodine has short half-life so expected to be “gone within weeks to months”[audio:|titles=RadiationMilk4]



Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix.  He also writes about film for KQED Arts.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor