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Would You Like Some Uranium with That?

Food Irradiation is a practice which is becoming popular all over the world - with a little help from the usuals - WTO etc. The product used to sterilize THE FOOD YOU EAT is called cobalt 60 - a by-product of URANIUM and a waste product of nuclear reactors. Irradiation opponents say this practice is both unsafe and unnecessary.
According to www.organicconsumers.org, "Since 1983, the FDA has legalized the irradiation of numerous classes of food, including beef, poultry, pork, lamb, fruit, vegetables, eggs, juice and spices ? at the equivalent radiation dose ranging from 33 million to 1 billion chest X-rays." Much of this irradiation is being done with cobalt 60 a by-product of uranium and an end-product of nuclear reactors.

The government line calls food irradiation "a promising new food safety technology that can eliminate disease-causing germs from foods." They assure us that the food does not become radioactive or fraught with dangerous substances and that the nutritional value of the food is essentially unchanged.

However, Public Citizen says that irradiation destroys vitamins and other nutrients, forms chemicals known or suspected to cause cancer and birth defects, and masks unhygienic food production practices. Instead of this shortsighted quick-fix, we are encouraging the food industry and government regulators to institute comprehensive solutions in response to food safety challenges.

The FDA says "the effects of irradiation on the food and on animals and people eating irradiated food have been studied extensively." But, citizen.org alleges, "the FDA has relied on decades-old tests that do not meet current scientific protocols designed to determine whether irradiated food could be toxic, or cause mutations or reproductive problems in the people who eat it."

A distinctive logo called the "radura" is supposed to indicate food is irradiated but is not required to identify "minor ingredients" that have been irradiated. And, produce grown from irradiated seeds do not have to be labeled unless the produce is irradiated. Fast food purveyors do not have to label irradiated foods. Nor do you need to know about those papaya slices in your fruit salad.

Even those who carefully choose organic food should be concerned about the implications of food irradiation: increased centralization/globalization of food production, more control over our own food by organizations like the WTO... Reasons we should care about irradiation

Find out which companies are currently or will soon be selling irradiated products.

More information on irradiation:

Public Citizen - Food Irradiation
Pro-irradiation site
Center for Disease Control
oh my god 29.Jul.2002 23:17

indy reader

thanks for posting this. I didnt know radiation was so widespread. whats safe to eat anymore?!

It's just Uncle Sam looking out for our healh 30.Jul.2002 15:21


Yummy! Now you too can have the out-of-this-world taste of radiation poisioning, and in the convience of your own home and local supermarket. Why wait until the ozone disappears to work on your cancer tan, start TODAY with irradiated (now referred to as pasturized) meat, veggies and fruit. Ask your grocier for them by name.

???? 30.Jul.2002 15:38


With goals and grammar like this, how can we refuse.

"The purpose of this web site is to provide factual and informative information and to improve communications about food irradiation to the public, the industry, media and academia. Our goal is to provide information leading to the adoption of food irradiation when it would improve the quality of life through increased food safety, technical or marketing improvements, enhance agriculture production or food security, assist food trade and food availability to consumers, and/or provide an environmentally more suitable process". Qtd from -  http://www.food-irradiation.com/ -

Doesn't the irradiation process alter the genetic make-up of these organisms like radiation does in humans? Therefore, aren't these genetically modified organisms? Perhaps anti GMO agencies should start to bring more attention to this issue. Who knows, maybe radiated food will finally scare/scar some consumers into making a fuss.

I like the story, but 30.Jul.2002 16:30


I like the story, but the title is very misleading. In reading the story it was quite a stretch to get Uranium even into it.

I say this because I like your goals, and its important that we sound like we know what we are talking about.

The way this works is that the box with the Cobalt-60 sits next to the production line. What comes out is going to be either gamma rays or neutrons, and this is going to spray over the food.

These are going to slam into the food and bacteria like cannonballs, and strings of proteins, organic molecules and DNA are all going to get split apart. This may kill the bugs, but I have no idea what it does to the food. Since mother nature decided not to try this idea, my guess is it isn't good.

Actually, if you want to use that headline, there's another story that goes along with it. For a few years now the NRC has been allowing small amounts of nuclear waste to go into various metal products. Things like toasters and whatever else they can put it in. That's where you are bringing uranium into your home.

Interesting 08.Aug.2002 20:22


You eat Uranium all the time. There are trace elements in just about every food, air, and water in the world. Your body needs this small amount of mineral, just like iron, or magnesium. You eat Iodine to. It's poisoness as hell if you eat to much. It's in a lot of food to. Is it safe to eat? Hmmm.

Question, organic foods are actually worse on your body in some ways compared to commerically grown food. You might think that everything from "Mother Nature" is good for you. You may forget that mother nature also killed off the Dinos. She might want to shuck us next. Don't think that everything mother nature gives you is beneficial. You might end up as burnt toast.

Food irradiation has helped many developing countries fight off several deadly deseases. Fact, food irradation has improved the life span of many sections of develping countries. Are we replacing one problem for another? When have you completely eliminated something? You fight of common illness with certain medical treatments. You get rid of the ailment, but now really on the medical industry.

So, maybe you get cancer from food irradiation thirty years from now. Better than croking in two weeks from some medival desease. The US society has the ability chose this food that food. Oh, maybe it causes cancer. What doesn't cause cancer? What does cause cancer? If you can tell me I'll give you a Nobel Prize.

I'm in China right now and look out the window of my office and see hundreds of people who love irradiated food. Cuz they now they'll live a few years longer. Maybe you would like to sell them some organicially grown tofu. Grow up you fricken babies! Mother nature is kicking their ass. When someone dies from food poisoning in your arms that could have been saved with food irradiation, maybe you'll change your tune.