FOOD IRRADIATION . . .
To Eat Goo or Not Eat Goo?
By Jesse Anson Dawn
It's a big issue that's getting bigger. Food and food safety is a big part of all our lives and who is not for safe food - but now that the federal government has found a way to make megabucks pushing irradiation (as a "safe" food treatment) millions are upset and for good reason. But let's look at some of the crucial facts.
It all began with the U.S. Department of Energy and their problem with the disposal of nuclear waste from reactors. Wherever radioactive leftovers are dumped, people get upset and lawsuits erupt from the populace (as well they might). But what if our government could make major money by leasing this terrible stuff to backwater counties all over the world? All they would have to do is convince people that nuclear waste (cesium-137 and cobalt-60) can be used to "sterilize" food?
Bingo - up jumps the food irradiation industry. But the dangerous and food-destroying effects of such a business has now become central to what could be the biggest cover-up in U.S. government history. Why? Because it involves poisoning half the planet with food that research from all over the world says is loaded with mutated, cancer-causing ingredients. That's what reports from England, Sweden, Switzerland, West Germany, New Zealand and Japan have found, and that's also why these same countries have banned the import and production of irradiated food.
And who can blame them. Even our own FDA did over 400 studies to try to find out if irradiated food is safe, and only one study in a hundred found evidence of relative "safety". But because there's so much money involved with the pushing (disposing) of radioactive waste, the powers that be have taken this stance: "Use the one study in a hundred that clears us on this and throw out (cover-up) all the studies that say irradiated food is too dangerous to push."
And so now, as often happens when megabucks are involved, push has come to shove - a U.S. government push to cover-up our rights to know about this, and they are even trying to make it so irradiated food doesn't even have to be labeled as irradiated. And need I say that such a plot to destroy our right to know stinks to the high heavens, need I say that we must let our legislators know that the stench of this massive mask-overt will filter its way into our grocery stores, kitchens and mouths and spur us to say NO! to something we should know the truth about, but don't?
But don't just take my word for it, listen to David Steinman, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and award-winning author of Diet for A Poisoned Planet (Crown Publishers, 1990) who quotes our FDA as saying:
"The FDA reported that irradiated food fed to laboratory animals caused a significant increase in testicular tumors, pituitary cancer, cataracts and shortened lifespan... and in West Germany food irradiation is banned because of studies indicating the possibility of mutations, metabolic disturbances, decreased growth rate, reduced resistance to disease, changes in organ weight and cancer."
And so is it any wonder that an (August, 1997) CBS poll found that 77% of Americans will NOT eat irradiated food? And is it any wonder public awareness has caused most existing food irradiators to lose money, so much so they are asking the government to bail them out? But wait, there's more, what about the fact that . . .
IRRADIATION DESTROYS VITAMINS
Yes, study after study says that irradiation removes a major portion of the vitamins from food, especially vitamins C, D and B - vitamins which happen to be the main reason why we eat food in the first place. I mean, if you thought "old age" was creeping up on you before, let's hope you won't have to experience the effects of "age" after a diet of food-made-goo by irradiation. And so it's a terrible idea no matter how you look at it (unless you're making huge chunks of cash to lease nuclear waste to some hidden away, covertly un-monitored irradiation company). Soon coming to your neighborhood, a "wonderfully economical and safe" food-destroying, dangerous irradiator?
NOT X-RAY MACHINES BUT NUCLEAR POWERED
The proposed irradiation dose for fruit is 25,000 to 100,000 RADS (Roentgen absorbed dose) while the lethal human dose is 600 to 1,000 RADS. A standard chest x-ray is less than one RAD. Do the math and you see that in the typical BIG-BANG-OVERKILL way of certain government agencies, they want to "sterilize" bacteria and fruit flies with more than 400 times the amount of radiation that it takes to kill a human. Something like ordering major airstrikes to get rid of one sniper in a tree (like what I experienced in Vietnam). And then we get government reps trying to say that irradiators are merely a simple medical device like an x-ray machine. Something like comparing a B-52 bomber to a heron.
IRRADIATION ACCIDENTS APLENTY
But are irradiators safe? Of course they are, certain U.S. government agencies are saying. Never mind the fact that an irradiation company called Radiation Sterilizers, Inc. (of Decatur, Georgia) was saddled (along with the government) with a $47 million dollar cleanup when their faulty irradiator leaked radioactive water into Decatur's water supply and even caused radioactivity in worker's homes. Never mind the fact that the former President of Radiation Technology, Inc., Martin Weit, was sentenced to two years for lying to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission when he tried to cover-up a major leak at his plant. Never mind the fact that irradiation accidents have caused numerous amputations and fatalities (75,000 cancer deaths from Cher-nobyl) and the list goes on and on. But it all boils down to one basic choice, the choice that food labeling MUST allow us to make and make without the true risks being masked or minimized, a choice that only honest reporting and honest labeling will allow us to make, and the choice is this:
SHOULD WE EAT DANGEROUS FOOD TURNED TO VITAMIN-DEPLETED GOO OR NOT? AND IF SO, WHY?
|WHAT YOU CAN DO Call Food and Water, Inc. (800) EAT-SAFE, Parents Against Irradiation (808) 934-7994, or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (510) 975-0346.|
Return to the May/June Issue Index page