Health and safety

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The irradiation industry and the US Food and Drug Administration say irradiation doesn't change the nutritional value of food.

However, consumer groups disagree and list the following concerns:

  • Irradiation damages the quality of food, destroying between 5 to 90 percent of the vitamins in food.
  • Irradiation can kill a number of food borne pathogens, but not all the bacteria in food, nor can it destroy the prions suspected of causing mad cow disease.
  • Irradiation does not remove filth or contaminants from food, but rather covers up problems that the meat and poultry industry should solve.
  • Irradiation creates new, untested chemicals in food called Unique Radiolytic Products (URPs), some of which are known to be toxic or suspected to promote cancer and birth defects.
  • There are no long-term studies on the safety of consuming irradiated food. The FDA did not follow its own testing protocols and ignored studies raising public health concerns.

More about: FDA, health concerns, irradiated food

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