Images of deformed food products from Japan attributed to the Fukushima nuclear plant  disaster are sweeping the Internet.

“You might not want to eat your vegetables for an entirely new reason after seeing some strange fruit and veggies that reportedly have turned up in villages surrounding Japan’s stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant,” reported ABC News.

The plant was devastated by equipment failures, nuclear meltdowns and releases of radioactive materials in the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami, the worst nuclear incident since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

Medical Daily reported the vegetables appear to be “tomatoes with tumors, horrifyingly large cabbage, and conjoined corn cobs and peaches.”

A commentator at KSL-TV in Salt Lake City said the radiation from Fukushima has produced vegetables that are “really weird.”

But a Ph.D. research scientist of international stature told WND the claims likely are false.

Art Robinson, who co-founded with Nobel-winner Linus Pauling the Linus Pauling Institute in Menlo Park, Calif., said the images reflect changes that wouldn’t occur from radiation.

The anomalies, he said, are often seen in nature from a wide range of causes. Or they might simply be faked images, he said.

Robinson, is president of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, which he founded with the help of his chemist wife Laurelee, famed biochemist Martin Kamen and Nobel Laureate Bruce Merrifield. He was the Republican candidate for Oregon’s Fourth congressional district seat in 2010 and 2012.

The vegetable images were posted on an Asian image-sharing site.

One of the early reports came from Energy News: “It might be wise to steer clear of vegetables from Japan’s Fukushima area for, oh, say a few hundred years. A Korean website assembled this image collection of produce from towns and villages surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. And they are NOT pretty pictures. … The region’s agriculture appears to have taken a heavy radiation hit.”

Robinson said the Japanese nuclear plant’s failure is largely misunderstood. Virtually every system in Japanese society failed when the earthquake and tsunami hit, he argued.

He noted that some of the people who were in the nuclear plant survived while thousands in the surrounding countryside died.

He said plants are resistant to radiation, and it’s unlikely that the images represent anomalies from the the nuclear facility’s release of radioactive material.

“This is nonsense. It’s just a form of lying. If you go into a large agricultural field, a big field of tomatoes, [such images appear],” he said.

While there were elevated levels of radiation from the plant, he said, there is radiation in nature as well.

Regarding the images, he said, “Lies are easy to tell and hard to displace in the public mind.”

He pointed to Chernobyl in Russia, the worst nuclear disaster ever. While there were several dozen killed fighting the fire that erupted there, including some because of radiation poisoning, tens of thousands died because of hysteria, he said.

That toll was the result of tens of thousands of mothers from the region aborting their unborn children because they were warned the children would be deformed, he said.

Robinson said the attacks on nuclear power have existed since it was developed, but it remains one of the best sources of energy. China, he noted, has a full-fledged nuclear power program under way.

It’s not the first time Robinson has knocked down a scientific claim.

Robinson has documented the utter lack of unanimity in the scientific community on man-made global warming through a petition he started – not an online petition, but an actual document signed by more than 31,000 scientists, including more than 9,000 Ph.D.s.

All 31,000 agree “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”

His opinions are valued highly by his contemporaries. Martin Kamen, Fermi Prize recipient and discoverer of Carbon 14, said, “Dr. Robinson is one of the most gifted scientists I have ever met.”

Frederic Seitz, former president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, said, “Arthur Robinson has the respect of a very significant portion of the scientific community.”

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