US irradiation statements

Submitted by Editor on Wed, 10/11/2004 - 00:05

Hi all,
US Advocacy Organisation Public Citizen will be releasing their new report: Food Irradiation: Australia and Beyond - From Naranba to the Cold War and Back" as part of the Food Irradiation Awareness Tour, taking place between Nov 16-26 in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns and Atherton.

The following are some usable statements about irradiation and the report.

Thank you

Robin Taubenfeld
Food Irradiation Watch
0411 118 737

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stop foodirradiation
robintaubenfeld@hotmail.com
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November 9, 2004

Beyond nuclear hazards, food irradiation is fraught with many other dangers and downsides that speak to profound problems with the technology, according to a new report, Food Irradiation: Australia and Beyond: From Narangba to the Cold War and Back. The report traces the tortured history of irradiation, from a crazed era when nuclear-powered domed cities and other fantasies were envisioned, through the flawed process by which the World Health Organization unconditionally endorsed it.

Premature death, mutations, fetal death and catastrophic internal bleeding are among the problems that laboratory animals fed irradiated foods have experienced, according to the report. Many chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects are formed when foods are irradiated. Among them are compounds called 2-ACBs, which have been linked to cancer development in rats and genetic damage in human cells. Irradiation also destroys vitamins, proteins, essential fatty acids and other nutrients.

Irradiation could become a key player in the rapidly expanding global food trade, the report says. Because it greatly extends shelf life, irradiation permits long-distance travel of meat, fruit and vegetables. More trade likely will deliver more bad tidings to farmers and ranchers undercut by cheap imports. The trend also leads to the creation of monocrops that disrupt the integrity of traditional farming practices and economies that have stood for centuries.

Rising interest in irradiation has coincided with the terrible decline in the safety of the food supply, particularly meat, according to the report. Australia is a prime example. Carcasses smeared with feces, floors puddled with blood, disgusting "black" meat being added to meat pies¬ - these are common observations in the slaughterhouses and processing plants of today. Significant blame can be ascribed to the 1993 deregulation of the meat inspection system, in which government inspectors were replaced with "quality assurance officers" who work for private companies. The ongoing string of food poisoning outbreaks is expected to continue.

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