The Fukushima Health Survey recently held a public meeting to address parent concerns about the survey. One of the concerns brought up by the parents was how difficult the survey has made it for parents to obtain the thyroid ultrasound photos of their children. Dr. Suzuki who has been running the Health Survey along with Dr. Yamashita said they would consider releasing the ultrasound photos without requiring a formal request from the parents first. There was no guarantee this would be implemented.
Dr Suzuki also claimed it is unlikely thyroid cancer rates would rise and that the results found so far where over 43% of children had abnormalities were “ordinary”. Sukuki also claimed epidemiological studies on children in Japan had not been performed before. This is known to not be true. Children in Nagasaki were used as a comparison group in a 2001 study by Dr. Yamashita who is now involved with the Health Survey.
“Around 70 Fukushima residents attended the session, during which Suzuki emphasized that it was highly unlikely that thyroid cancer rates would rise at this point, and that the results for children in Fukushima Prefecture were not out of the ordinary. He also sought understanding from residents, saying that epidemiological studies on thyroid tumors in children had never before been conducted in Japan.”
These statements by Suzuki defy the evidence. Over 43% of the children with abnormalities is quite different from the 1.6% or less of children in the Nagasaki study. Suzuki has also held the opinion that thyroid cancers won’t show up for 4 or more years citing Chernobyl. This conflicts with Suzuki’s claim that is it unlikely cancer rates would rise. Further evidence shows thyroid damage was actually occurring right after Chernobyl, it just took years for studies to actually be done. The Health Survey itself has come under fire for a number of statements including admissions by Yamashita that his intention is to deny people compensation to save the government money and that they had been having secret meetings ahead of on the on the record meetings to get their stories together. Even the study’s stated goals are to “calm anxiety” and to “convince doubters” that the nuclear disaster impact would be minor.
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