Were Japanese food products proven to be highly radioactive in a viral video?!
Take a look at the viral video, and find out what the facts really are!
Updated @ 2023-10-27 : Added new version, and other updates
Originally posted @ 2023-07-16
Claim : Viral Video Proves Japanese Food Is Highly Radioactive!
People are sharing a video on WhatsApp, TikTok and social media platforms, which claims to prove that Japanese food products are highly radioactive!
In the video, a man explains in Cantonese how he tested the radioactivity level of a Japanese food product, and found that it was highly radioactive.
The radiation of Japanese products exceeds the standard. Please note the video instructions above.
Japanese foodstuffs full of radiation.
Japan has d very toxic nuclear radiation waters to be release or partially released already… be aware…fr d FUKUSHIMA Nuclear plant.
This video is also being promoted by pro-CCP netizens, as well as the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛).
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Truth : Video Does Not Prove Japanese Food Is Radioactive At All!
This is yet another example of FAKE VIDEOS circulating on WhatsApp, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : The Viral Video Is Several Months Old
Let me just start by pointing out that the viral video is several months old, coming to our attention in the middle of July 2023. The video was certainly recorded and distributed on WhatsApp, TikTok and other social media platforms in early July, if not earlier.
At that time, Japan had not yet released treated wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear power station into the Pacific Ocean. So it is impossible for the video to show radioactive food caused by the release of Fukushima nuclear plant’s treated water.
The Fukushima Nuclear Power Station (NPS) only started releasing its ALPS-treated and diluted water into the sea on the afternoon of Thursday, 24 August 2023 – about 6 weeks after the video first went viral on WhatsApp and social media platforms.
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Fact #2 : The Viral Messages Are Misleading
The viral English and Chinese messages tied to this video are misleading. The man in the video never once mentioned that this food product was from Fukushima, or mentioned the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
With help from Yuh Hui and Adrian Tung, here is the English translation of what the man actually said in the viral video:
This is a radiation monitoring device.
Now, there is Japanese food that I placed on a bench over there. Now, I will walk towards it, and see how much radiation it has.
As I approach the Japanese food, the radiation reading goes up. Now, I place the device here (on the food). See how the radiation reading is very high. This is food from Japan.
See how the device gives a “beep beep” sound, and the screen turns red. The radiation reading is more than 400.
If you ever go to Japan, try not to eat the food there, or buy any food souvenirs for your relatives and friends. It will be terrible if they get radiation poisoning!
This food was given to me by a friend who bought it from Japan. I’m not going to eat it. I will accept it and will throw it away later.
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Fact #3 : That Was An EMF Meter, Not A Geiger Counter
The man claimed in the viral video that he was using a radiation monitoring device. The truth is – he was just the ST1393 EMF Meter, which anyone can buy from Amazon for just $31.39. Here are other purchase options :
The ST1393 EMF meter is designed to detect and measure the electromagnetic radiation produced by magnetic and electric fields. It is not designed to detect nuclear radiation like alpha and beta particles, as well as gamma rays.
To detect ionising radiation from nuclear sources, he needs to use a Geiger counter, not an EMF meter.
As the manufacturer advertises, the ST1393 EMF testers is used to detect “electric field radiation” and “magnetic field emission” from mobile phones, hair dryer, computer, TV, printer, etc. It does NOT detect nuclear radiation!
Fact #3 : EMF Meter Likely Measured Static Electricity
In the video, the EMF meter was seen registering between 292 V/m and 441 V/m. That was the measurement of a static electric field, not nuclear radiation.
If you look closely, the meter says the unit is V/m (volts per meter), and the type is Electric Field. Nuclear radiation is measured in units like Becquerel (Bq) or Curie (Ci) or Sievert (Sv) or Rem (One Sv = 100 rem).
The EMF meter was very likely measuring the static electricity on the Japanese food product’s plastic polymer packaging. If the man tests other plastic packaging, he would likely register similar levels of static electricity.
In case you are worried about the “high” static electricity produced by Japanese food packaging, here are some common static electricity levels:
- Natural electric field in atmosphere : 100 V/m
- Electric field during thunderstorms : Up to several thousand V/m
- Walking on non-conducting carpets : Up to 500,000 V/m
- High voltage DC power lines : Up to 20,0000 V/m
- Inside DC-powered electric trains : Up to 300 V/m
In other words – you do NOT need to worry about a few hundred volts per meter of static electricity!
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Fact #4 : Induction Cooker Not Source Of Electric Field
Some sharp-eyed folks have pointed out that the man placed the Japanese food item on an induction cooker, and posited that the increase in electric field “radiation” was due to EM radiation from the induction cooker.
I have to point out that while it appears to be an induction cooker, it could potentially be a radiant cooker which come in similar designs, with a black glass top. You can only tell them apart when they are operating – the radiant cooker’s heating element will glow red, while induction cookers won’t.
In any case, an induction cooker works by inducing an electromagnetic field to transfer energy to a magnetic pan / pot. So the EMF meter should have registered a magnetic field as well.
Since the video showed no magnetic field, the induction cooker was not powered and would not have affected the results.
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Fact #4 : EM Radiation Is Not Nuclear Radiation
Electromagnetic (EM) radiation is a form of radiation, but it is not the same as nuclear radiation.
EM radiation is wide-ranging, and includes everything from visible light to radio waves, microwaves, infrared to X-rays. It is emitted by everything from the sun to computers and smartphones.
Nuclear radiation, on the other hand, consists mainly of Alpha particles, Beta particles, and Gamma rays, that are produced as a result of a nuclear reaction, or radioactive decay.
It is like comparing bicycles with cars. They are both vehicles (radiation), but a bicycle (electromagnetic radiation) is different from a car (nuclear radiation). Getting hit by a bicycle is also very different than getting hit by a car!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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