Scientists Report Mutant Butterflies from Fukushima Exposure
After last year’s Fukushima DaiIchi nuclear disaster, a number of butterflies was seen to have taken on abnormalities. Researchers have said that it is because of the radiation.
Around 12% of pale grass blue butterflies that were exposed to radiation have been found to have smaller wings and damaged eyes.
Joji Otaki, associate professor at Ryukyu University in Okinawa, even said that their offspring have had problems: 18% displayed the same characteristics. That number rose to 34% in the third generation. Take note that one of the parents was unaffected.
“We have reached the firm conclusion that radiation released from the Fukushima Daiichi plant damaged the genes of the butterflies,” Otaki said.
However, he said that the results could not be directly applied to other species — including the human race.
Kunikazu Noguchi, associate professor in radiological protection at Nihon University School of Dentistry, added, “This is just one study. We need more studies to verify the entire picture of the impact on animals.”