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Wednesday, April 18, 2007 10:01 pm

Tell FDA what you think

If you’re worried about irradiation, call

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Untitled Document Would you like your eggs poached, fried, boiled, or irradiated? If the Bush administration gets its way, producers of some eggs, fruits, veggies, and spices will be allowed to zap their products with high doses of ionizing radiation — without bothering to tell us about it. The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a new rule approving the use of radiation treatment to help extend the shelf lives of the foods. This is a technological fix that can fatten the profits of the corporations, even though it can also do unpleasant things to the food’s taste, smell, and texture — and increase the price. Oh, and one more bit of unpleasantness. The health and safety effects of dosing our edibles with a level of radiation that’s the equivalent of 33 million chest X-rays is, to say the least, problematic. So the irradiators are making you part of a grand health experiment! Good luck! Even when the FDA determines that a certain irradiated food should be labeled, the Bush administration proposes to let them use the more benign phrase “pasteurized” rather than “irradiated.” This is because lobbyists for the big food processors complain that irradiation is a word that “has such a negative impact on the consumer that it acts as a warning label.”
Well, duh . . . yes! We should be warned that the food we buy and feed to our families has been zapped with radiation. If this process is perfectly safe, as the industry shills insist it is, why don’t they want us to know about it? Why should we buy a process that corporations are afraid to put on their labels? FDA’s public-comment period runs until July 5. To tell ’em what you think, call Food & Water Watch: 202-797-6550.
Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, columnist, and author.
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