Irradiation and your food……………yes or no?
It would be great if we could wave a magic wand over our food and make it safe to eat, but supposedly the next best thing is food irradiation. Once your foods are x-rayed, the molds, bacteria and insects that cause spoilage are *POOF!* gone.
But there are many consumer and environmental groups that remain unconvinced that this is the way to go. Carol Tucker-Foreman, director of the Consumer Federation of America’s Food Policy Institute says, “ irradiation has too many downsides to ever capture a large share of the market, and that the scientific community’s focus on irradiation is potentially taking valuable attention away from other improvements to the food system. “
“The food industry has the option to use irradiation right now if they want to,” she said. “The fact is they’re not using it right now, and not just because they have to label it, but because it costs more and if you don’t do it with great precision, you get meat that doesn’t taste very good.”
Here is what the Organic Consumers Organization says about irradiated foods:
- Irradiation damages the quality of food.
- Science has not proved that a long-term diet of irradiated foods is safe for human health.
- Irradiation covers up problems that the meat and poultry industry should solve
- Labeling is necessary to inform people so they can choose to avoid irradiated foods.
- Electron-beam irradiation today means nuclear irradiation tomorrow.
“Irradiation should not be a substitution for good sanitation in the food industry. But when it is used along with good sanitation and other preventive controls, irradiation can reduce consumer risk,” says Caroline Smith DeWaal, director of food safety for the CSPI.
here’s WHAT DR. MERCOLA has to say:
Research in animals suggests the compounds may promote tumor growth and colon cancer, and studies show 2-alkylcyclobutanones are able to cross the intestinal barrier, enter into the bloodstream, and be stored in the fat tissue of an animal. The compounds have also been shown to be cytotoxic and genotoxic, which means they may damage cells and DNA, respectively. Studies on human cells also revealed potential cancer-causing effects, with researchers concluding “this compound may be regarded as a possible risk factor for processes in colon carcinogenesis related to initiation and progression.” [source]
HERE IS WHAT THE FDA has to say:
Why Irradiate Food?
Irradiation can serve many purposes.
- Prevention of Foodborne Illness – irradiation can be used to effectively eliminate organisms that cause foodborne illness, such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli (E. coli).
- Preservation – irradiation can be used to destroy or inactivate organisms that cause spoilage and decomposition and extend the shelf life of foods.
- Control of Insects – irradiation can be used to destroy insects in or on tropical fruits imported into the United States. Irradiation also decreases the need for other pest-control practices that may harm the fruit.
- Delay of Sprouting and Ripening – irradiation can be used to inhibit sprouting (e.g., potatoes) and delay ripening of fruit to increase longevity.
- Sterilization – irradiation can be used to sterilize foods, which can then be stored for years without refrigeration. Sterilized foods are useful in hospitals for patients with severely impaired immune systems, such as patients with AIDS or undergoing chemotherapy. Foods that are sterilized by irradiation are exposed to substantially higher levels of treatment than those approved for general use. [source]
TOTALLY CONFUSED NOW? Do some research to see what is right for you and your family. Be sure to practice safe food handling in your own home. Consumers can effectively reduce the risk of contamination without processes such as irradiation. In fact, sporadic cases and smaller localized outbreaks in the home and surrounding community are far more common than large publicized outbreaks. Contact the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (1-800-535-4555) or the FDA (1-800-FDA-4010) for more information.