Irradiated Food Fight

Irradiated Food Fight, Chrisanne
Beckner, Sacramento News and Review
Applying radiation to ready-to-eat foods and seafood is currently
under consideration by the FDA, while irradiated beef, poultry,
pork, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and spices have all been approved.
Chrisanne Beckner explores both sides of the issue in the
Sacramento News and Review, a regional weekly
publication. ‘Our inherant mistrust of radiation has made it easy
for critics of irradiated food technology to greatly influence
public opinion,’ she writes. Although little solid proof exists to
suggest that food radiation is harmful, Beckner notes, fears of
birth defects, cancer, radioactive leaks, and unsanitary food
processing have left the public suspicious of any food bearing the
radura symbol, which airradiated food is currently required to
print on the label. And consumers should be leery, say opponents
such as Ralph Nader’s consumer rights organization, Public Citizen,
which claims that irradiated food contains new chemicals that may
have unknown long-term effects and that the process of radiation
destroys the vitamins in the food–not to mention further adding to
the globalization of food production. Beckner states that
proponents liken the process to pasteurization and believe that the
public will pay extra for the opportunity to eat without fear of
food-borne illnesses.
–Maria Opitz
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