Below you will find a most interesting question and answers session. The controversy began at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan where the allowed Prof. Toshihide Tsuda MD and PhD to make some claims concerning the stunning rates of cancer being found in childrens thyroids after an extensive study of over 300,000 children after the Fukushima Daichi Nuclear disaster, following the huge Earthquake and resultant Tsunami. Amongst the casualties of this disaster in Japan, were an unknown number of radiological victims.
Publised on on 22nd November 2015
Published by http://www.europeannewsweekly.wordpress.com
Published by Shaun McGee
For some 3 years the Fukushima Medical University has been compiling data but even though the UN rapporteur was asking for evacuation of children from some areas, no one was doing anything with the data to find out if the UN rapporteurs fears were correct or wether the Science Media Centre UK`s “expert” Geraldine Thomas and friends, was correct with her claim of “No Health Effects”?
Following the claims of Prof Toshihide Tsuda, the press and health industries have remained silent. The real battle ground is being fought on the comments sections of blogs and newspapers throughout the globe! People have questions!.
I was challenged by Sam McGill to ask Tsuda San to answer some questions regarding his claim of;
“I am surprised Tsuda’s study even got published, it’s that bad. It looks possibly to have been a political decision to “get discussion going” as it were. It was accompanied by a piece in the same journal quietly trashing it.”
Of course, this is the only righteous opinion being made and many bloggers feel ill equipped to deal with someone of Sam McGill`s eloquence and knowledge.
Below are the questions from Sam McGill and answers from Prof Toshihide Tsuda in full. Please share parts or all of these questions and answers because it will be unlikely that the Japan Times or similar would be allowed to print this discussion (though I live in hope) owing to the new Japanese Secrets Law that helps to keep the press in their place. I thank JT for keeping the comments open so we could interact with one another and try to find the truth amongst the untruths. Regards Shaun McGee
Answer to Mr Shaun McGee from Toshide Tsude concerning
issues on the recent thyroid Study in Japan
Q1. Why did he ignore the age profile of tumour sufferers? If the headline rate of tumours were caused by radiation, then it should be the very youngest in the screening programme with tumours. Yet the Fukushima group tumours are concentrated in the highest age group.
A1. Our paper was based on the data within 3 years after the accident (2011-2014). In Chernobyl, age distribution of thyroid cancer cases within 3 years after the accident (1986-1989) was also mainly teenagers (see the below pasted table). You can obtain same data in the URL (http://www.aec.go.jp/jicst/NC/tyoki/bunka5/siryo5/siryo42.htm), which was written in Japanese, but its figures can be read by non-Japanese. The table was created by Professor Shunichi Yamashita (Nagasaki University) using cancer registry in Gomel Voblast in Belarus. Its columes express from 0 to 17 indicate “age in the accident”. And, its rows express from 1985 to 1998 indicate “year at diagnosis of thyroid cancer”. You can find 10 thyroid cancer cases among 13 within 3 years after the accident (1986-1989) were 10 years old and higher age at diagnosis. This age distribution is quite similar to the finding in Fukushima within 3 years after the accident (2011-2014). Furthermore, during 1986-1989 in Chernobyl, any screening program was not conducted at all. Therefore, some thyroid cancer induced by the accident would be detected within one yeas after the accident by screening program in Fukushima.
Q2. When he did his internal comparison, why did he exclude west Fukushima? If West Fukushima is included, the relationship between distance from the plant and rate of tumours seems to disappear.
A2. As everyone knows, most of Fukushima Prefecture was contaminated after March 11, 2011. Since afternoon on March 14, especially, larger and wider contamination occurred. Western least contaminated district was also contaminated especially Aizu-Wakamatsu City and its neighboring towns. These city and towns have highest population density in the district. In other words, the most of population in the district were included in the city and the towns although the district has very wide area. Radioactive plume from the power plant flowed to the city and the towns through the Koriyama City district. But, southeastern district may be relatively avoided by the radioactive plume, which indicated in the below figure. A volcano expert, Professor Hayakawa (Gunma University) made the figure. You can obtain the figure in the URL (http://blog-imgs-51-origin.fc2.com/k/i/p/kipuka/0810B.jpg ).
Q3. Why did he assume a very low latency period for thyroid cancer? His paper assumes a latency period of 4 years, but the literature shows a latency period of between four and thirty years. A longer latency period means a much bigger screening effect. (And evidence from Korea indicates it can be a very large effect).
A3. First, we should share findings on excess thyroid cancer cases around Chernobyl between 1987 and 1989. In both Belarus and Ukraine, statistically significant excesses of thyroid cancer cases were observed as indicated in references 28 and 29 in our paper. 28. Malko MV. 19. Chernobyl radiation-induced thyroid cancers in Belarus. In: Imanaka T, ed. Recent Research Activities about the Chernobyl NPP Accident in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia; 2002, pp. 240–55. Available at: http://www.rri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/NSRG/reports/kr79/kr79pdf/kr79.pdf . Accessed March 29, 2015. 29. Ministry of Ukraine of Emergencies and Affairs of population protection from the consequences of Chornobyl Catastrophe and All Ukrainian Research Institute of Population and Territories Civil Defense from Technogenic and Natural Emergencies. 5. Medical aspects. 20 years after Chernobyl catastrophe future outlook -National report of Ukraine-. K.: Atika, Kyiv; 2006, pp. 68–88. Available at: http://chernobyl.undp.org/russian/docs/ukr_report_2006.pdf . Accessed March 29, 2015. You wrote, “The literature shows a latency period of between four and thirty years”. But, minimum latency of childhood thyroid cancer is shorter than four years as indicated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and as observed in Chernobyl between 1987 and 1989 (ref. 28 and 29).
Second, we assigned 4 years as latent duration (latency: mean years duration), but actual mean latency since the accident among subjects was about 2 years. On the other hand, possible latency among them may be about 20 years. When assigning 1 year to several ten years as a sensitivity analysis, anyone can notice that significant excess of thyroid cancer cases in Fukushima Prefecture except the northeastern district does not change. Third, what report do you want to indicate as “Evidence from Korea”? Is it the article by Ahn et al. in New England Journal of Medicine in 2014? If so, the finding is among adults who received cancer screenings, not for childhood or adolescents. Furthermore, as the article wrote, “Despite guidelines recommending against evaluation and surgery for tumors less than 0.5 cm in diameter, one quarter of surgical patients now have tumors that fall into this category”, its diagnostic criteria of thyroid screening was quite different from that of the Fukushima screening program. Ahn HS, Kim HJ and Welch HG: Korea’s thyroid-cancer “Epidemic” – Screening and overdiagnosis. N Engl J Med 2014; 371: 1765-1767.
Q4. Why did he ignore the evidence from analyses of tumours that show no signs of the markers of radiogenic thyroid cancer, and most show the markers of regular adult thyroid cancer?
A4. What kinds of markers did you indicate? Even if such marker may be useful to detect “radiogenic thyroid cancer”, when the high relative risks indicated in our paper were observed, I think that the result and the conclusion would not so change.
Q5. Why does he think Gerry Thomas, the head of the Chernobyl Tissue Bank, described his study as “not a good study to base opinions on”?
A5. I do not know Dr Gerry Thomas. May be, he is not an epidemiologist because he is a head of the Tissue Bank. If he is not an epidemiologist, he cannot validly evaluate an epidemiological study written by us.
[EDITORS NOTE; Prof. G Thomas did not contact Prof Toshihide Tsude
but made her claim that she cast doubt on the study? [Sam McGill said on JT comments (link below) “…In any case, Gerry Thomas – who doesn’t work for the SMC – isn’t a nuclear engineer anyway. She focuses on health and radiation. So you’ve got that criticism wrong too. And it’s not just Gerry Thomas who’s cast doubt on Tsuda’s study…..]]
Q6. How far does he see his work as contradicting current mainstream scientific opinion on the relationship between dose and response in radiogenic thyroid cancer?
A6. We do not think that our results contradict current mainstream scientific opinion on the relationship between dose and response in radiogenic thyroid cancer. Why do you think so? The result indicates the radiation burden to thyroid organ of children and adolescents in Fukushima after March 2011.
Original Sources and correspondents below;
Original Questions courtesy of Sam McGill (commenter from The Japan Times on Disquis) concerning the recent Tsude study.
Dear Tsuda san I am a researcher and journalist. I am quite perplexed as to the report of Thyroid Cancers within the Fukushima Prefecture. The main reason for my confusion is your claims and the response from the more pro nuclearscientists. whilst conversing with some of Japans pro nuke community (American I believe), they are making certain claims against your findings. In fact a growing list is appearing and social media bloggers are using these points. As an anti nuclear blogger with friends in Fukushima, i require answers to throw back at the questions or points of view that are being put to me (and others). to be brief, Here are the questions;
1. Why did he ignore the age profile of tumour sufferers? If the headline rate of tumours were caused by radiation, then it should be the very youngest in the screening programme with tumours. Yet the Fukushima group tumours are concentrated in the highest age group.
2. When he did his internal comparison, why did he exclude west Fukushima? If West Fukushima is included, the relationship between distance from the plant and rate of tumours seems to disappear.
3. Why did he assume a very low latency period for thyroid cancer? His paper assumes a latency period of 4 years, but the literature shows a latency period of between four and thirty years. A longer latency period means a much bigger screening effect. (And evidence from Korea indicates it can be a very large effect). 4. Why did he ignore the evidence from analyses of tumours that show no signs of the markers of radiogenic thyroid cancer, and most show the markers of regular adult
5. Why does he think Gerry Thomas, the head of the Chernobyl Tissue Bank, described his study as “not a good study to base opinions on”?
6. How far does he see his work as contradicting current mainstream scientific opinion on the relationship between dose and response in radiogenic thyroid cancer? I look forward to your (or your assitants ) response. With kind regards . Domo Arigato Shaun McGee http://www.europeannewsweekly.wordpress.com http://www.nuclear-news.net Fukushima 311 Watchdogs on Facebook And many other social media platforms/blogs
Sources for this Article
With very kind thanks to firstname.lastname@example.org and Sam McGill (Disquis) who i have been conversing with for some time now on and off.
Special thanks to Japan Times for keeping the comments section open on this article http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/11/17/world/crime-legal-world/anti-nuclear-firebrands-case-heads-canadian-court-death-threats-fukushima-environmental-scientists/#.VlGFVc_cjb3
Other resources for this controversy;
Comment on the TSudy by an independent researcher;
Original Press conference where study findings were revealed
Toshihide Tsuda: Professor, Graduate School of Environmental and Life Science, Okayama University
Geraldine Thomas claiming no health effects at the UN University ion Japan;
Gerry Thomas (Professor of Molecular Pathology at Imperial College London) emphasizes the prevalence of misconceptions related to radiological risk as well as the range of factors that can influence both dose and exposure to radiation.
This video is part of the activities of the United Nations University – Fukushima Global Communication (FGC) programme.