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 FDA Expands Irradiation of Food Supply; Harmonizing with Codex Alimentarius

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Posts : 7972
Join date : 2012-05-29
Location : Manchester UK

PostSubject: FDA Expands Irradiation of Food Supply; Harmonizing with Codex Alimentarius   Sun 09 Dec 2012, 15:54

FDA Expands Irradiation of Food Supply; Harmonizing with Codex Alimentarius

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

Demonstrating the lack of concern held by regulatory agencies for public
safety or public opinion as well as the increasing attempts to become
compliant with Codex Alimentarius regulations, the FDA has recently
expanded the amount of ionized radiation that can be used to treat
unrefrigerated raw meat.

As reported by Food Safety News,
the two new policies decided upon by the FDA were issued in response to
two petitions filed in 1999 by the Food Safety and Inspection Service
of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

While the previous policy was that only refrigerated or frozen meats
could be irradiated, the new rule allows for the irradiation of
unrefrigerated raw meat. The second rule change allows for increasing
the dose of ionizing radiation in poultry from 3.0 kGY to 4.5 kGy.

Although a period for public comment is always set aside for regulatory
agency decisions regarding potential changes to policy, the FDA promptly
ignored the many comments it received from individuals all over the
country as well as consumer advocacy groups which requested the denial
of the two FSIS petitions.

The response from the FDA was that all of these
comments, made by individuals and by groups such as Public Citizen and
the Center for Food Safety, “were of a general nature” and “did not
contain any substantive information that could be used in a safety
evaluation of irradiated poultry.” This statement was made regarding
both the poultry irradiation rule and the passage of a new meat
temperature rule.

Predictably, the FDA has defended its decision by circular logic that
flies in the face of science and common sense. The agency is claiming
that “irradiating unrefrigerated meat was not found to increase meat’s
toxicity, change the food’s nutritional properties or increase the
likelihood of certain bacteria thriving on meat; therefore FDA has
determined that this is a safe application for the process.”

Of course, while the FDA claims that irradiation is not found to
increase toxicity or change nutritional properties, the very reason that
the FDA has jurisdiction over food irradiation to begin with is because
the process of irradiation can do just these very things. Even the FDA
admits[1] that,
because irradiation “can affect the characteristics of the food,” it is
considered a “food additive.” Thus, because food additives fall under
the purview of the FDA, irradiation is regulated (or not) by the agency.

By allowing for higher doses of irradiation in food, the FDA is
knowingly complicit in covering up unsanitary food production practices
by major corporations as well as accepting the inclusion of clearly
harmful material (i.e. radiation) into the food supply. Keep in mind,
irradiation is mostly used by corporations in order to cover up
deplorable manufacturing conditions and dangerous food contamination.

much like the FDA’s position on genetically modified food, even the
concept of consumer choice is nothing more than a smokescreen.

For instance, while the FDA states that all irradiated foods entering
the supply chain must be accompanied by a radura symbol indicating the
irradiation process, the fact is that this symbol is only required to be
presented to the “first consumer,” not the average person actually
buying and eating the food. More often than not, the “first consumer” is
actually the high-level distributor of the food. Needless to say, the
radura symbol is removed in short order before the goods are shipped to
the market and long before they reach the people who purchase them

Indeed, the FDA has made moves to derail consumer knowledge even further with relatively recent attempts to re-label irradiated
food as “pasteurized” so as to obscure the real nature of the
“treatment” process. In fact, the proposal even states that an
“alternate term to ‘irradiation’” may be considered for use with no
further suggestion as to what this term may be.

Therefore, one legitimately wonders whether or not, if the proposal
should go through, the selected terminology will be even more
obfuscating than that of “pasteurization.”

Lastly, it is important to note that the FDA has been making clear strides toward harmonization with Codex Alimentarius guidelines for at least the last ten years. As I discuss in my book Codex Alimentarius – The End of Health Freedom, Codex Alimentarius itself has set the acceptable limit of food irradiation at 10 kGy with loopholes that actually allow for unlimited levels of irradiation.

Indeed, the FDA has also pushed for Codex harmonization with vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as genetically modified foods[2].

With this in mind, it would be well within reason to expect to see the
acceptable levels of food irradiation raised even higher in the very
near future.

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