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Surgeon Gen: Be Prepared, Buy Iodide

From the San Francisco NBC affiliate, KNTV:

Surgeon General: Buying Iodide a "Precaution"

Conflicting messages appear in the effort to buy iodide tablets

Tue, Mar 15, 2011

The fear that a nuclear cloud could float from the shores of Japan to the shores of California has some people making a run on iodine tablets. Pharmacists across California report being flooded with requests.

State and county officials spent much of Tuesday trying to keep people calm by saying that getting the pills wasn’t necessary, but then the United States surgeon general supported the idea as a worthy "precaution."

U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin was in the Bay Area touring a peninsula hospital. NBC Bay Area reporter Damian Trujillo asked her about the run on tablets and Dr. Benjamin said although she wasn’t aware of people stocking up, she did not think that would be an overreaction. She said it was right to be prepared.

On the other side of the issue is Kelly Huston of the California Emergency Management Agency. Huston said state officials, along with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the California Energy Commission, were monitoring the situation and said people don’t need to buy the pills.

"Even if we had a radiation release from Diablo Canyon (in San Luis Obispo County), iodide would only be issued to people living within a 10-mile radius of the plant," Huston added.

Santa Clara County’s public health officer Dr. Martin Fenstersheib told the Mercury News he also does not recommend getting the tablets, adding some people can be severely allergic to the iodine.

"There is no reason for doing it," Fenstersheib told the paper.

Either way, the pills are hard to get. eBay prices have skyrocketed.

General Benjamin’s comments strike us as entirely irresponsible. But of course that is par for the course for Obama administration officials.

As we understand it, potassium iodide is not a general purpose treatment for radiation exposure. And supplies could run out, if everybody decides to take it.

Moreover, no one should take potassium iodide without being instructed to do so by a real physician. (Not one playing a doctor on TV.) As the article notes, severe allergic reactions are quite possible.

It’s the ‘Cipro panic’ after the post 9/11 anthrax scares all over again. But even that wasn’t flamed by administration officials.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, March 16th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

21 Responses to “Surgeon Gen: Be Prepared, Buy Iodide”

  1. wardmama4 says:

    Wow – talk about irresponsible and dangerous. When are any adults in DC going to stand up and say not NO but HELL NO. The Won is busy taping his ‘brackets’ bs for ESPN (who cares a whit – talk about a Cult of Personality juvenile action) – while America’s economy continues to plummet, jobs are not there (where except in DC is it ‘easing’ up at all?) and now we have the ecko – wakos attempting to destroy nuclear as a viable option.

    We are doomed if someone doesn’t stand up and Stop this now. Plus I hear The Won’s Administration has ‘asked’ the Supremes not to decide on That Which Must Be Repealed – and that Kegan won’t recuse herself – even though she was in on The Won’s Administration’s work on TWMBR. So much for our ‘Constitutional law’ POTUS – he is destroying it faster than he is America.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      “…and now we have the ecko – wakos attempting to destroy nuclear as a viable option.”

      Actually, they’ve always been there. But if you’ll notice, it’s a very interesting phenomenon. The left and all its members respond greatly to “button-pushing”. That is, whenever there’s an event, the multi-legged members of the left crawl out of the woodwork and go bananas. The right? Not much, really. Living in reality means not knee-jerking one’s way through life. The left has these flare-ups and “torch and pitchfork” moments seemingly on a regular basis. It is most akin to adolescent behavior and tantrums. They fail to reason so they must yell and scream. To do anything else is not even considered.

      Where the leaders of this nation have failed and always do fail is that they believe marching/protesting/yelling/screaming/unlawful behavior is the same as a legitimate gripe and they respond to whatever the left wants. But interestingly, as of Wisconsin last week, it doesn’t seem to be as effective as it used to. Perhaps a new tide is rising and the left is really being identified as those who would seek to undermine the American philosophy and steal as much money as they can get their hands on, as soon as they can. Indeed, at work where I used to never hear politics discussed (largely conservative where I work) people are simply stating it out loud how disgusted they are.

      Let’s hope it continues. Let’s hope that every time a bunch of leftwing jack-wagons get together to “protest”, the internet-provided media shows them for the losers they always are.

  2. P. Aaron says:

    Obama’s cabinet picks all look like Senior-Prom rejects.

  3. Right of the People says:

    Will iodine tablets be covered under Obamacare?

  4. GetBackJack says:

    Deselecting yourself from humanity because you haven’t got sense enough to (a) make your own decisions (b) learn up some stuff (c) and follow the directions strike me as Evolution In Action™

    (h/t niven/pournelle/oath of fealty)

  5. artboyusa says:

    Pathetic, hysterical overaction to something that hasn’t happened yet and never will. HL Mencken once joked that the new American national motto should be “Safety First” – and that was in the 1920s!

    By contrast, I am completely impressed by the response of the Japanese people to the awful disaster that’s befallen them. No looting, no rioting, no troops patrolling the streets – just calm, dignified people getting on with what they need to do – which is a lot more than we can say about ourselves whenever we take a hit from nature (remember the Superdome?) Respect, Japan dudes!

  6. GypsyRN says:

    I have to agree, the surgeon general was totally irresponsible for that remark. Japan is 6000 mi away from the USA folks! If, and I say if, a tad amount ever got to the west coast you would get more radiation from a day out in the sun light then you would from Japan. I have to agree if that had happened here in the USA, you better believe that looting would happen, look at Katrina. I am amazed that the Japanese people are so calm appearing and orderly throughout this event. The focus has been taken away from the earthquake and tsunami and been supplanted by radiation panic!! get a grip people!!!

  7. TerryAnne says:


    I’m on a pill called Iodoral; basically it is an iodine and potassium iodine tablet designed to supplement people with hypothyroidism and adrenal dysfunction.

    So, now these socialist idiots and their lickspittle retarded minions are putting my health at risk…more than I’m already facing due to our illustrious community organizer who can’t even tie his shoes mindless think he’s a doctor.

    Thanks, idiots!

  8. canary says:

    A dumb U.S. Surgeon General. Add another dumb country health officer called a Dr. He might not even be licensed.

    “Santa Clara County’s public health officer Dr. Martin Fenstersheib told the Mercury News he also does not recommend getting the tablets, adding some people can be severely allergic to the iodine.”

    allergic reaction. The pills can permanently damage thyroids, and aren’t to be used unless exposed.

    This right as the California Fish and Wildlife, & EPA cover up the 85 tons of dead sardines tested positive for a powerful toxin that affects the nervous system called Domoic Acid. It poison and can kill humans if they eat it. Biologists at a University immediately tested the sardines, and people were grabbing and bagging, as the California Fish & Wildlife continue to tell story after story, as they send it to Victorville Ca for fertilizer for their food to absorb the toxins. They’ll brag “all natural fertilizer on top of that”

    EPA knows but are playing dumb. Can’t charge billions for little tiny leaks for natural oil which come from the earth.

  9. proreason says:

    Regina Benjamin’s specialty is the “twinkie diet”

    • tranquil.night says:

      Hah! Given the circumstances, that’s healthy eating.

      What do you have to say, Mooch-elle?

  10. canary says:

    TerryAnne, I posted my post before I saw you were concerned. Probably scared you worse. lodoral is a supplement.

    If you have “hypothyroidism” it means low thyroid. I don’t believe the pills you are taking are even necessary for any tests to check your thyroid. They can be expensive, and if you have “hypothyroidism” symptoms can be enough for a doctor to try you on a synthyroid thyroid hormone such as commonly prescribed Levothyroxine without expensive tests done, and it’s not harmful. See if symptoms get better and may be doctor will just prescribe.

    So, it’s no big dea for a doctor to prescribe you a prescription synthroid hormone, such as Levothroxine
    I don’t think it’s expensive.

    You could check out Mayo Clinic or Johns Hopkins for information.
    I’m not a doctor so see a doctor. Right down the symptoms prior, and any new symptoms from the supplement you are taking.

    • TerryAnne says:

      I’m going to Johns Hopkins and seeing an osteopath (homeopathic doctors are FAR better for thyroid problems than endocrinologists, but I’m using JH as a supplement to double check). The osteopath prescribed the iodine as a way to shrink the benign tumors (nodules) in my thyroid; it’s a common therapy in low doses. JH agreed with it; he said it’s an old practice but it works well in a lot of people. When I need it (when my nodules are going nuts), I only take one three times a week; most weeks I don’t need it. My complaint is that it is already between $40-50; if these whackjobs are flooding the market and dealers are raising the prices, it’s going to be hard to get. I’m already spending about $500/month on treatments, medicine, appointments, and traveling to Baltimore.

      I’m also on natural thyroid; I refuse to take synthetic, as it is only one thyroid chemical and produced in a laboratory. Doctors tend to force that versus natural, but research will tell you that more people respond to natural than synthetic. Can you say kickbacks?

      I’m not exactly a person pleased with our medical system right now. I’ve apparently been sick for a long time and when I ended up have an emergency cholesystechtomy, incisonal hernia repair (from the first surgery), and an emergency ERCP all within 9 months of each other, my weak system that no doctors would treat (despite me asking doctors to test my thyroid) crashed. Hard. I’m now trying to pick up the pieces as best as possible around a system that refuses to do anything because “[my] bloodwork isn’t bad enough yet”. I’m showing signs of being very close to Addison’s Disease, but JH doesn’t want me on any adrenal medicine yet because I’m not “bad enough yet”. I’m not listening to him on this one and am feeling LOADS better as a result.

      And to know it’s only going to get worse (in regards to our medical system; ran into one two days ago). Yippie!

    • canary says:

      TerryAnne, I hear ya. John Hopkins did enforce their staff to take the swine vaccine. With Obama recently appointing one of his commie thugs over vaccines, that’s scary.

      I’ve had a doctor for long time that is big on homeopathic and immunology without meds and if I had to end up with a doctor for everything it would be her.

      Mayo Clinic over the years has endorsed that cranberries really do help against bladder infections. And most recently, “milk thistle” really is good for the liver.

      Anyways, I recall as a teen reading and doing yoga that doing head stands was good for your thyroid and all those glands. Someone else told me it was good but not why so I found a link. * Of course see a doctor before standing on your head. I do it easy way now, pillow and rest feet against the wall.
      Yep, when my night mares went from running with children and carrying them to safety, I started having nightmares where I’m telling my son which way to run. Made since. My son can run faster than me now. So, last summer I started getting in shape. Do everything slow. I can run 4 miles. Male push-ups are the hardest. I’m trying to beat 9 whole push-ups along with female. This is the only thing I can do more my children. May come a day, I’ll move and not tell them where I live.lol. But, in this world they need me right now, and so do all the liberals that don’t know what the heck is going on here, or in the world.
      Praying for you Terry Anne. Scientists have finally admitted prayer works after decades of testing to
      say it’s only positive thinking. God Bless you and everyone on the boards. You are very needed.


  11. BillK says:

    What a way to induce a panic.

    BTW, most drugstores don’t, for obvious reasons, stock potassium iodide (no one, and I mean no one normally buys it) and I once asked my local Walgreens and they didn’t even know how to order it, so you’ve now created a run on a product most stores don’t even carry.

    Thanks, Federal Government!

    • canary says:

      If your speaking to me personally the health care store within a mile has it. Of course it doesn’t say how much, which most products leaving you guessing. Might be a very small amount ineffective for taking after exposure. But, news said doctors in California. Just commenting on the subject. I originally posted the fact California was freaking out prior to this post. Now it’s bigger news I was just posting my opinions. I had posted if anyone remembered some yearish after 9/11 that the U.S. went through a scare and some workers in particular jobs were offered the pills to keep on hand, just in case. Anyone remember that scare?
      in case. I

      I didn’t go out and buy duck tape 2000 either, like everyone. I bottle water during storms to have on, then empty them. Keep some in the car. Yep, I’m a safe person. Was in a special unit trained in case of bio-chemical warfare. Chilll.

      The Surgeon General must be an old friend of Obama or Michelle. Last time the full-figured junk in the trunk, was telling us to diet.

    • BillK says:

      Not in particular, canary, just pointing out that if you walk into your neighborhood Walgreens or CVS, as most people hearing this would be prone to do, they’ll look at you with a blank stare.

      I do have some myself for other reasons, but it’s fun to note that the manufacturer of one widely available brand is completely sold out until April:

      Notice: As of March 14, 2011, Anbex is out of stock of IOSAT(tm). New product is expected by April 18, 2011.


      I wonder if anyone in the Obama Administration has a financial stake in Anbex…

    • canary says:

      Well, back after 9/11is some scare the pharmacies here all had it. But, you won’t find marijuana machines like in California. The health food stores even have ingredients from swine thyroids. I wouldn’t try it, but our brain is closest to a pigs. And my dad couldn’t get the balm he’s gotten since he lost his leg at 18 in WWII, and nothing else worked. It has mutton (sheep fat) in it. He finally found a place to send for it, but Obama’s ready to change everything.
      Oh. He stared using vinegar on occasional sores (like blisters) for walking to much on new leg. We used vinegar in the military hospital way back for cleaning surfaces.
      When California out laws something, it ends up getting outlawed here. A couple of years ago, Walmart went green and had signs over lawnmowers and other items telling us this is outlawed in California and they quit getting it and what ever they replace goes up in price. Manufactures can’t afford to make an item different just for Californians. We can’t take another term with Obama and his friends running things.

  12. Liberals Demise says:

    Oh yaaaaaaa………I’m gonna take information from a turtles Gynecologist.

  13. Mithrandir says:

    CHUBBY surgeon general should be more concerned about her own weight.

    Some with a certain wife, who is VERY CHUBBY, trying to tell everyone how to eat, while sucking on BBQ ribs.

    How to read the gov’t
    ~They talk about greed, THEY are greedy.
    ~They talk about weight loss, THEY are fat.
    ~They talk about unfairness, THEY are unfair.
    ~They talk about “the rich” THEY are rich.
    ~They talk about paying a fair-share, THEY don’t pay their fair-share.

    They usually are talking about themselves, when they say these things. It’s called “projecting” if I remember psychology class correctly.

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