Harmful if swallowed - The dangers of food irradiation
(NaturalNews) Food irradiation was implemented to eradicate potentially harmful substances that pose health risks to consumers. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has long ago approved irradiation for products including meats, fruits and vegetables. While eliminating dangerous bacteria sounds like a step in the right direction, the research behind food irradiation is highly flawed.
Irradiation wipes out good bacteria as well as the harmful kinds. Good bacteria found in foods curb the growth of dangerous bacteria and produce an odor that indicates spoilage. There is also a chance that the bacteria that survive the irradiation process can mutate and become radiation-resistant, which would make the entire process ineffective and potentially lead to the formation of bacteria that is also resistant to antibiotics.
"Radiation is a carcinogen, mutagen and teratogen," Dr. Geraldine Dettman, a Brown University safety officer, points out. "At doses of 100,000 rads on fruits and vegetables, the cells of the fruits and vegetables will be killed, and most insect larvae will be destroyed, but fungi, bacteria and viruses growing on the fruit and vegetables will not be killed . . . They will be mutated, possibly leading to more virulent contaminants."
It alters the content of food
The nutritional content of irradiated foods is seriously compromised. Irradiation can destroy between 5 percent and 80 percent of vitamins and nutrients found in a variety of foods including essential vitamins A, B complex, C, E, and K. For example, irradiated eggs lose 80 percent of vitamin A and orange juice loses 48 percent of beta-carotene.
Irradiation not only reduces the food's nutritional content, but also changes its flavor, texture and odor. For example, turkey and pork can become bright red while beef can turn from red into a shade of green or brown. Numerous studies show that irradiated foods are inferior in taste, texture, and smell to non-irradiated foods.
It has not been proven to be safe
Scientific studies that were used to legalize irradiation used old scientific methods and were not extensive. In fact, the study of how irradiated foods affect the human body lasted for only 15 weeks before it was discontinued and irradiated foods were deemed safe for human consumption. There is no research available to determine the long-term effects of eating irradiated foods. Furthermore the research used to approve irradiation did not fulfill current scientific protocols required by federal law.
Dr. Gayle Eversole states, "Food irradiation exposes food to the equivalent of 30 million chest X-rays. Irradiation creates new chemicals in foods called radiolytic products. Some of these products are known cancer-causing substances....No one knows the long term impact of eating unknown quantities of these damaged foods. Studies on animals fed irradiated foods have shown increased tumors, reproductive failures and kidney damage. Chromosomal abnormalities occurred in children from India who were fed freshly irradiated wheat."
Irradiation is ineffective
Irradiation kills the majority of bacteria that cause food borne illnesses but does not eradicate other waste that can contaminate meat and other foods due to unsanitary conditions in slaughterhouses and processing plants. It does not eliminate contaminants such as urine, feces and vomit. It also doesn't destroy the virus that causes Mad Cow disease.
Being aware of the dangers of food irradiation will help you avoid foods that can be potentially harmful to your body. Irradiated foods are required to be labeled with a symbol resembling an encircled leafy plant. Remember to always double check the food you buy, question its origins and read the labels carefully.