Health and safety
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.