Maintaining current labeling law for irradiated foods

January 18, 2002

Dr. Bernard Schwetz
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
14-71 Parklawn Building
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857

Dear Dr. Schwetz,

I am writing on behalf of PCC Natural Markets and our 40,000 member households to urge you to maintain the current labeling law for irradiated foods, which requires irradiated whole foods sold in stores to be labeled "Treated by Irradiation" or "Treated with Radiation." PCC Natural Markets has seven stores in the Puget Sound region of Washington State and is the largest cooperative retailer of natural and organic foods in the United States.

The American people have spoken loudly and clearly on the issue of irradiation. As you know, 98.2 percent of Americans responding to a recent FDA survey say they want the current law maintained or strengthened to include the labeling of irradiated ingredients. In recent focus groups, participants unanimously opposed the use of any substitute terms such as "electronically pasteurized" or "cold pasteurized."

For the sake of honesty and integrity, any food that has been exposed to ionizing radiation must be labeled accordingly. Any attempts to hide, blur or deceive should be rejected by your agency.

Respectfully,

Tracy Wolpert
CEO, PCC Natural Markets

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