Food irradiation

Irradiation is a process in which x-rays or gamma rays are passed through food to kill insects and microbial contaminants. Despite an absence of testing, including any low-level testing, our FDA approved the use of irradiation technology for most of the foods we consume. These foods not only include herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables, but also wheat, beef, lamb, pork and poultry. Experts agree that irradiation causes food to lose nutrients. European studies have found chemical byproducts in irradiated ground beef and other foods that may increase the risk of colon cancer and cause DNA damage in human cells. Although federal law requires labeling of irradiated foods, currently restaurants are not required to do so. Advocates say labeling should be required for irradiated ingredients of compound foods as well as for restaurant and institutional foods.

Irradiation proponents say this technology helps make our food safer, lessens waste and reduces the use of pesticides.
Opponents warn of harmful changes at the molecular level of food that is subjected to irradiation. They claim this technology is often used by our food processing industry to compensate for their own deficiencies. They say irradiation is used to control fecal contamination in meat and to prolong the marketing life of vegetables and produce. They seek long-term exposure studies and insist on a consumer’s right to know if food has undergone this treatment.

Proposed Legislation: H.R.3120 Right to Know School Nutrition Act (108th Congress 2003-2004)
Prospective Sponsor: Rep. Barbara Lee (CA)

Issue Suggestions

Suggest an important issue not listed in this sub-category (). (Maximum 60 Characters)

Poll Opening Date
May 22, 2023
Poll Closing Date
May 28, 2023

Democracy Rules respects the privacy of your information.