Irradiation of our Foods

Will it give life or death?

Food irradiation is potentially devastating to our health by eliminating living enzymes, vitamins and nutrients.  Irradiation prevents the restoring and healing of our body of cancer and other diseases.


Our immune system will become weaker and weaker unable to fight off the many diseases and illnesses that we are and will be facing.  Cancer will escalate.


Treating cancer alternatively seeks to present information and resources that will allow you to make wise choices in maintaining and restoring health to your body.


Our bodies are created to heal themselves.  It is our responsibility to give ourselves the necessary healthy food to assist our bodily systems to function properly, and gives us a long and healthy life.


The large majority of disease and affliction including cancer is caused by a lack of necessary living enzymes, vitamins, minerals, supplements, and also the trace elements needed by our body to fight and survive.


Food irradiation is a process of protecting us from unsafe sanitary practices and controlling the food supply by killing and destroying all living parts of the food. 


Irradiation of food is more economical in guarding our food processes than improving and supervising sanitary practices in the growing and processing of food. 


Sounds great at first thought, but consider the long term effects of our body being slowly starved to the point of exhaustion, fatigue, sickness, and disease. The body is unable to fight for health.


How long can our bodies survive on “synthetic” chemicals and food substances?


How much food irradiation can our body tissue store, before there are major body breakdowns?


We are sacrificing our health and the health of our family in lieu of practicing safe food growth and processing.  How devastating! 


Studies are very incomplete and limited in duration of time.


The selection of non-irradiation of food sources will be important in healing the body. 


The health conscious person will turn to organic produced and processed foods.  It is also important to consider additional supplementation from only organic whole food supplements that have practiced good soil management.



If you are looking for a great source of supplementation that is organic, whole food, with phytonutrients, check our


If you choose to purchase the Nutrilite supplements and other products, you can support Treating-Cancer-alternatively website by logging on as a customer using the following information.


IBO:         1668110

Surname:  Mickelson



What is Food Irradiation

Processing of Food by Ionizing Radiation

Radiation Absorbed Dose

Irradiation Technologies Used in Food Processing

Electron Irradiation

Gamma Irradiation

X-ray Irradiation

Irradiated Foods in the Market Place

Irradiation Labeling and Terminology Issues

US Regulators of Food Irradiation

Enforcement of Labeling for Irradiation of Foods

Safety Aspects of Irradiation

Criticism and Concerns about Food Irradiation

Alternatives for Food Irradiation



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The Radura logo, is used to show a food has been treated with ionizing radiation.  Learn to recognize this logo on food packaging.


Food packaging is not required to carry this logo.  Just because a food does not carry the irradiation label does not ensure that it is radiation free.



What is Food Irradiation?


Food irradiation is the process of exposing food to ionizing radiation to destroy microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, or insects that might be present in the food.


Further applications of irradiation include:


·        sprout inhibition,

·        delay of ripening,

·        increase of juice yield, and

·        Improvement of re-hydration.


The genuine effect of processing food by irradiation, the ionizing radiation, relates to damages to the DNA, which is the basic genetic information for life.


Listed below are some of the positive benefits of irradiation of foods.  However as you view the list, consider the underlying opposite effect stated.


  • Microorganisms can no longer proliferate and continue their malignant or pathogen activities. (Remember, both necessary and malignant microorganisms – all are killed). 


  • Spoilage-causing micro-organisms cannot continue their activities. (Because spoilage can be stopped, we are more likely to eat spoil foods).


  • Insects do not survive or become incapable of proliferation. (If there is not enough food values, nutrients, etc. for insects to survive, is there any food value left for human consumption?)


  • Plants cannot continue the natural ripening or aging process. (Most of the food supplementation of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements are formulated during the last stages of natural ripening and aging process.  NOW the development of most nutrients is being halted.)



Irradiation of our foods will potentially


-         be used to mask spoiled food,

-         discourage strict adherence to Good Manufacturing Practices,

-         preferentially kill 'good' bacteria, encourage growth of 'bad' bacteria,

-         devitalize and denature irradiated food, (destroy enzymes and vitamins)

-         impair the flavor,

-         not destroy bacterial toxins already present,

-         cause chemical changes which are harmful to the consumer,

-         and, on top of all, is unnecessary in today's food system.


Why would anyone consider eating foods that have undergone irradiation? Considering the above listed qualities our health will be greatly affected over time?


In treating cancer alternatively, the focus is on restoring or maintaining health.  The body need living enzymes and vitamins attained from the fruits, vegetables and other living food that we eat.


These necessary food elements come during the final stages of natural ripening.


All the living enzymes, as well as many other vitamins and nutrients and trace supplements are devitalized if not destroyed by irradiation processes.


It is important to again focus on the fact that much of what our body needs from the foods that we eat is gained during the natural ripening process of our food. 


Irradiation prevents natural ripening. 


Irradiation causes chemical changes that will drastically affect the health of our body systems.  The body is created to eat whole natural foods ripened in the natural environment of sunlight and air.  Not chemicals!


Think about the effects that irradiation will have on our immune system, and other organs of our bodies, especially with the passing of time. 


Each time we alter our food in any way, we will bring devastation to our body.


How many people will die or be in the process of dying, before we realize the devastation of irradiation of our foods?


The method of processing food by ionizing radiation allows the energy density per atomic transition in the food to be very high.  The energy density can combine molecules and induce ionization (hence the name).  This process is not achieved by mere heating, it involves a radiation that kills and destroys.


This is the reason for both new effects and new concerns.


The treatment of solid food by ionizing radiation can provide an effect similar to heat pasteurization of liquids, such as milk.  Everything is destroyed and then synthetic supplements “enrich” the milk. 


The challenge is that science cannot possibly know and understand all the trace elements and how they become catalysts for one another in creating additional elements needed by our body.


So it will be with the irradiation of our foods. 


What foods will be irradiated? 


All fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meats, and eggs along with other living foods are by law to be irradiated. 


The use of the term "cold pasteurization" to describe irradiated foods is controversial, since pasteurization and irradiation are fundamentally different processes.


Food irradiation is currently permitted by over 40 countries and volumes of food are estimated to exceed 500,000 metric tons annually world wide.  The volume of food irradiated will only escalate in the coming months and years.


The enzymes, vitamins, supplements in fruits and vegetables that are needed for treating cancer alternatively and for good health are being destroyed world wide.


How many people will be diagnosed with cancer with little chance of recovering?


Are we creating a plague of cancer and other diseases that will raise our death toll astronomically?


Processing of Food by Ionizing Radiation

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The irradiation of food, depending on the dose, will kill some or all of the harmful bacteria and other pathogens. This also includes good bacteria needed by the body.


  • Irradiation prolongs the shelf-life of the food in cases where microbial spoilage is the limiting factor.  This will lower the cost of food.


The high cost will be our health and health costs.


  • Some foods (e.g., herbs and spices) are irradiated at sufficient doses (five kilo grays or more) to reduce the microbial counts by several orders of magnitude; such ingredients will not carry over spoilage or pathogen microorganisms into the final product. 


Herbs and spices contain some of our highest trace elements that are essential for good health and the protection of our immune system.


  • It has also been shown that irradiation can delay the ripening of fruits or the sprouting of vegetables. 


As stated previously, let me remind you that the majority of our food values are produced during the final stages of natural ripening.  We are systematically destroying what our body’s organs desperately need to maintain and restore health.


  • Furthermore, insect pests can be sterilized (be made incapable of proliferation) using irradiation at relatively low doses.


A major consideration is that if by food irradiation, harmful bacteria are killed; you must understand that you are also killing all good bacteria. 


By controlling the ripening process with chemicals, you are preventing the enzymes, vitamins, nutrients and supplements from being present through the natural ripening of the sun and environment.


If insect pests can be sterilized, is it not conceivable that as we eat large amounts of foods that are irradiated, we are ingesting enough radiation residues from the foods to also affect our body systems?


We need thick concrete walls to prevent workers from being affected from low doses of radiation.  Why do we not think there will be health challenges as our body tissue begin to collect and store small amounts of radiation daily from the food we eat?


I have repeated the dangers several times, I desire you to think through the short-term and long-term consequences of the irradiation of foods.  Only then will we take the necessary steps of protecting ourselves and our families. 


We cannot change the irradiation of foods on the market; however we can change our living and shopping habits. 


Organic farms and foods do not yet come under the guidelines of food irradiation.


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved the use of low-level irradiation as an alternative treatment to pesticides for fruits and vegetables that are considered hosts to a number of insect pests, including fruit flies and seed weevils.


U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved among a number of other applications the treatment of hamburger patties to eliminate the residual risk of a contamination by a virulent E. coli.


We are choosing an alternative that will have long term affects on our body chemistry.  This is because our food industries will not enforce sanitation and good management practices in the production, storage, and preparation of our foods. 


How many people will die of unknown causes, and increased cancer, stroke, heart attacks because we choose a quick, easy, effective way of ensuring “food safety”?


Food – Fruits and vegetables especially are the substance of health.  Our body must have the living enzymes, vitamins, minerals, supplements, and trace elements that are in food.


In treating cancer alternatively, a substantial portion of our diet is juicing of vegetables and fruits.  It is extremely important that we do not use foods that have been subjected to the process or irradiation.


If our body does not receive what is needed through the food we eat, we will starve our body and organ systems of necessary enzymes, vitamins, and trace minerals.   


Our body will become malnourished and sick.  We will become bloated, obese, or skin and bones. 


Diseases and plagues will be rampant.  Our body will not be able to fight and survive.


The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) have passed a motion to commit member states to implement irradiation technology for their national phytosanitary programs.  The General assembly of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been urged to make wider use of the irradiation technology.


And the USDA has made a number of bi-lateral agreements with developing countries to facilitate the imports of exotic fruits and to simplify the quarantine procedures because of food irradiation.


Currently, the European Union has regulated processing of food by ionizing irradiation in specific directives since 1999; the situation is easily explored and the several documents and reports are accessible.  For more information view the resources.


The 'implementing' directive contains a 'positive list' only permitting irradiation of dried aromatic herbs, spices, and vegetable seasonings.  Unfortunately many do not realize the powerful, super natural necessary food elements in herbs and spices.


Any Member State is permitted to maintain previously granted clearances or to add new clearance as granted in other Member States; in the case the European Commission (EC)'s Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) has given a positive vote for the respective application. Presently, six Member States (Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, and United Kingdom) have adopted such provisions.


Because of the 'Single Market' of the EC, any food--even if irradiated--must be allowed to be marketed in any other Member State even if a general ban of food irradiation prevails, under the condition that the food has been irradiated legally in the state of origin.


Irradiation does not need to be stated on food packaging labels.  Many people are consuming irradiated foods without their awareness. 


Again organic grown foods are yet safe from the irradiation process, because of their high standards of growth and processing of food for organic certification.


Furthermore, imports into the EC are possible from third countries if the irradiation facility had been inspected and licensed by the EC and the treatment is legal within the EC or some Member state.


The Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) of the EC has given a positive vote on eight categories of food to be irradiated.


However, in a compromise between the European Parliament and the European Commission, only dried aromatic herbs, spices, and vegetable seasonings can be found in the positive list.


The European Commission was due to provide a final draft for the positive list by the end of 2000; however, this failed because of a veto from Germany and a few other Member States.


In 1992 and in 1998 the SCF voted positive on a number of irradiation applications which had been allowed in some Member States before the EC Directives came into force, in order to enable those Member States to maintain their national authorizations.


In 2003 (at the occasion when Codex Alimentarius was about to remove any upper dose limit for food irradiation) the SCF adopted a 'revised opinion' which in fact is just a re-confirmation and endorsement of the 1986-opinion.


The cancellation of the upper dose limit is denied, and before the actual list of individual items or food classes (as in the opinions expressed in 1986, 1992 and 1998) is expanded, new individual studies into the toxicology of each of such food and for each of the proposed dose ranges is requested.


After 2003 the SCF has been replaced by the new European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which has not yet voted on processing food by ionizing radiation.


Other countries including New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, India, and Mexico have permitted the irradiation of fresh fruits for fruit fly quarantine purposes among others pests.


Other countries as Pakistan and Brazil have adopted the Codex Alimentarius Standard on Irradiated Food without any reservation or restriction, i.e. any food to any dose.


Radiation Absorbed Dose

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'Dose' is the physical quantity governing radiation processing of food and the beneficial effects to be achieved.


The dose of radiation is measured in the SI unit known as Gray (Gy). One Gray (Gy) dose of radiation is equal to 1 joule of energy absorbed per kg of food material. In radiation processing of foods, the doses are generally measured in kGy (1,000 Gy).


The measurement of radiation dose is referred to as dosimetry and it involves exposing dosimeters jointly with the treated food item. 


Dosimeters are small components attached to the irradiated product made of materials that when exposed to ionizing radiation change specific measurable physical attributes to a degree that can be correlated to the dose received.


Modern dosimeters are made of a range of materials such as alanine pellets, perspex (PMMA) blocks, radiochromic films, as well as special solutions and other materials.


These dosimeters are used in combination with specialized read out devices.


Standards have been created to describe calibration and operation for radiation dosimetry.  These standards describe the procedures to relate the measured dose to the effects achieved of irradiation.  There are standards to report and document such results.  These results are maintained by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM international) and are also available as ISO/ASTM standards.


Applications of food irradiation

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On the basis of the dose of radiation the application is generally divided into three main categories. 


As you review each of the categories, consider the effect of the application of the life giving enzymes, vitamins, nutrients and trace minerals needed to treat cancer alternatively. 


Cancer and other debilitating diseases are caused by the body being unable to fight the free radicals, the toxins, and other foreign substances in the body.


For every advantage of food irradiation in food production and supply to the marketplace there is the counter effect of destroying what is desperately needed by the body for maintaining and restoring health.


Low Dose Applications (up to 1 kGy)

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  • Sprout inhibition in bulbs and tubers 0.03-0.15 kGy


  • Delay in fruit ripening 0.25-0.75 kGy


  • Insect dis-infestation including quarantine treatment and elimination of food borne parasites 0.07-1.00 kGy


Medium Dose Applications (1 kGy to 10 kGy)

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  • Reduction of spoilage microbes to prolong shelf-life of meat, poultry and seafood under refrigeration 1.50–3.00 kGy


  • Reduction of pathogenic microbes in fresh and frozen meat, poultry and sea foods 3.00–7.00 kGy


  • Reducing the number of microorganisms in spices to improve hygienic quality 10.00 kGy


High Dose Applications (above 10 kGy)

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  • Sterilization of packaged meat, poultry and their products which are shelf stable without refrigeration. 25.00-70.00 kGy


  • Sterilization of Hospital diets 25.00-70.00 kGy


  • Product improvement as increased juice yield or improved re-hydration


It is important to note that these doses are above those currently permitted for these food items by the FDA and other regulators around the world.


The Codex Alimentarius Standard on Irradiated Food does not specify any upper dose limit. 


Irradiation treatments are also sometimes classified as radappertization, radicidation and radurization.


Irradiation Technologies Used in Food Processing


Electron Irradiation

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Electron irradiation uses electrons accelerated in an electric field to a velocity close to the speed of light. Electrons are particulate radiation and, hence, have cross section many times larger than photons, so that they do not penetrate the product beyond a few inches, depending on product density.


Electron facilities rely on substantial concrete shields to protect workers and the environment from radiation exposure.


If workers need to be protected from radiation exposure, I wonder what the effects will be on my immune system and other body organs if I consume minute levels of radiation consistently? 


Treating cancer alternatively is built on the foundation of strengthen the immune system and other body organs.  Irradiation destroys the very food values and elements needed by the body.


Gamma Irradiation

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Gamma radiation is radiation of photons in the gamma part of the electromagnetic spectrum.


The radiation is obtained through the use of radioisotopes, generally Cobalt-60 or, in theory, Cesium-137.


Cobalt-60 is intentionally bred from Cobalt-59 using specifically designed nuclear reactors. Cesium-137 is recovered during the refinement of spent nuclear fuel.


Because this technology - except for military applications - is not commercially available, insufficient quantities of it are available on the global isotope markets for use in large scale, commercial irradiators. Presently, Cesium-137 is used only in small hospital units to treat blood before transfusion to prevent Graft-versus-host disease.


Food irradiation using Cobalt-60 is the preferred method by most processors, because the deeper penetration enables administering treatment to entire industrial pallets or totes, reducing the need for material handling


Take the time to think through this process and the effects it will eventually have on your health.


A pallet or tote is typically exposed for several minutes to hours depending on dose.


Radioactive material must be monitored and carefully stored to shield workers and the environment from its gamma rays.


During operation this is achieved by substantial concrete shields. With most designs the radioisotope can be lowered into a water-filled source storage pool to allow maintenance personnel to enter the radiation shield.


In this mode the water in the pool absorbs the radiation. Other uncommonly used designs feature dry storage by providing movable shields that reduce radiation levels in areas of the irradiation chamber.


One variant of gamma irradiators keeps the Cobalt-60 under water at all times and lowers the product to be irradiated under water in hermetic bells. No further shielding is required for such designs.


X-ray Irradiation

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Similar to gamma radiation, X-rays are photon radiation of a wide energy spectrum and an alternative to isotope based irradiation systems. X-rays are generated by colliding accelerated electrons with a dense material (target) such as tantalum or tungsten in a process known as bremsstrahlung-conversion.


X-ray irradiators are scalable and have deep penetration comparable to Co-60, with the added effect of using an electronic source that stops radiating when switched off. They also permit dose uniformity.


However, these systems generally have low energetic efficiency during the conversion of electron energy to photon radiation requiring much more electrical energy than other systems. Like most other types of facilities, X-ray systems rely on concrete shields to protect the environment and workers from radiation.


Nominal X-ray energy is usually limited to 5 MeV; however, USA has provisions for up to 7.5 MeV which increases the conversion efficiency. Another development is the availability of electron accelerators with extremely high power output, up to 1,000 kW beam.


At a conversion efficiency of up to 12%, the X-ray power may reach (including filtering and other losses) 100 kW; this power would be equivalent to a gamma facility with Co-60 of about 6.5 MCi.


Irradiated Foods in the Market Place

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Many U.S. supermarkets carry irradiated food products today ranging from fresh tropical fruit from Hawaii or Florida, dehydrated spices and ground meat products.


Certain supermarkets like Whole Foods Market prefer not to carry irradiated products at this time for reasons of consumer perception. Health conscious consumers are choosing not to shop at groceries that carry irradiated foods.


Some foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, are not available for sale on the global market, unless they are treated in order to prolong shelf life for transportation; this may include radiation processing.


However, this application has not yet been exploited. In contrast, irradiation to eliminate insect pests in order to fulfill quarantine requirements is gaining commercial significance.


In particular for fruits from Hawaii to be sold on mainland US; and increasingly for imports from subtropical countries to the US (under bilateral agreements) which allows those less developed countries to earn income through food exports.


In treating cancer alternatively it will become extremely important to select food that has not been irradiated.  In order for cancer to be reversed the body systems must have the necessary enzymes, vitamins, supplements and trace minerals. 


Irradiation Labeling and Terminology Issues

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Labeling laws differ from country to country. While Codex Alimentarius represents the global standard in particular under the World Trade Organization (WTO)-agreement, member states are free to convert those standards into national regulations. With regard to labeling of irradiated food, detailed rules are published at CODEX-STAN - 1 (2005) labeling of pre-packed food.


The provisions are that any 'first generation' product must be labeled 'irradiated' as any product derived directly from an irradiated raw material.


For ingredients the provision is that even the last molecule of an irradiated ingredient must be listed with the ingredients even in cases where the unirradiated ingredient will not appear on the label.


The RADURA-logo is optional; several countries use a graphical version which differs from the Codex-version.


In the US as in many other countries irradiated food must be labeled as "Treated with irradiation" or "Treated by radiation" and require the usage of the Radura symbol at the point of sale.


However, the meaning of the label is not consistent. The amount of irradiation used can vary and since there are no published standards, the amount of pathogens affected by irradiation can be varying as well.


In addition, there are no regulations regarding the levels of pathogen reduction that must be achieved. Food that is processed as an ingredient by a restaurant or food processor is exempt from the labeling requirement in the US.  Other countries follow the Codex Alimentarius provision to label irradiated ingredients down to the last molecule (cf. EU).


FDA is currently proposing a rule that in some cases would allow certain irradiated foods to be marketed without any labeling at all.


Under the new rules, only those irradiated foods in which the irradiation causes a material change in the food, or a material change in the consequences that may result from the use of the food, would bear the Radura symbol and the term "irradiated", or a derivative thereof, in conjunction with explicit language describing the change in the food or its conditions of use.


In the same rule FDA is proposing to permit a firm to use the terms "electronically pasteurized" or "cold pasteurized" in lieu of "irradiated", provided it notifies the agency that the irradiation process being used meets the criteria specified for use of the term "pasteurized".


Food irradiation is sometimes referred to as 'cold pasteurization' or 'electronic pasteurization' because ionizing the food does not heat the food to high temperatures during the process, as in heat-pasteurization (at a typical dose of 10 kGy, food that is physically equivalent to water would warm to about 2.5 °C).


However, the use of the term, cold pasteurization, to describe irradiated foods is controversial, because pasteurization and irradiation are fundamentally different processes, although the intended end results can be similar in some cases.


Consumer perception of foods treated with irradiation is more negative than those which are processed using other food processes. 


"People think the product is radioactive," said Harlan Clemmons, president of Sadex, a food irradiation company based in Sioux City, Iowa.


US Regulators of Food Irradiation

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The Radura logo, as required by regulation of the USFDA to show a food has been treated with ionizing radiation.


Food irradiation in the United States is primarily regulated by the FDA since it is considered a food additive. Other federal agencies that regulate aspects of food irradiation include:


  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - meat and poultry products, fresh fruit


  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) - safety of the processing facility


  • Department of Transportation (DOT) - safe transport of the radioactive sources


Each new food is approved separately with a guideline specifying a maximum dosage; in case of quarantine applications the minimum dose is regulated.


Packaging materials containing the food processed by irradiation must also undergo approval.


Enforcement of Labeling for Irradiation of Foods

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There are analytical methods available to detect the usage of irradiation on food items in the marketplace.


This is understood as a tool for government authorities to enforce existing labeling standards and to bolster consumer confidence.


The European Union is particularly strict in enforcing irradiation labeling requiring its member countries to perform tests on a cross section of food items in the market-place and to report to the European Commission; the results are published annually in the OJ of the European Communities.


Safety Aspects of Irradiation

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Hundreds of animal feeding studies of irradiated food, including multigenerational studies, have been performed since 1950.


Endpoints investigated have included:


  • sub chronic and chronic changes in metabolism,

  • histopathology, and

  • function of most systems;

  • reproductive effects;

  • growth;

  • teratogenicity; and

  • mutagenicity. 


A large number of studies have been performed, some having demonstrated adverse effects of irradiation, and some concluding the process yields safer foods.


Consumer advocacy groups such as Public Citizen or Food and Water Watch maintain that the safety of irradiated food is not proven; in particular long-term studies are still lacking, and strongly oppose the use of the technology.


Doubts about the safety of irradiated food have arisen from reports of fatal incidences.


The most recent came from Australia: six cats were reported to have been euthanized after severe paralysis subsequent to being fed irradiated cat food, another 60 were reported ill after feeding on this cat food. The company involved issued a recall and blamed the Australian quarantine requirements for causing death and illness of the animals.


Australian Quarantine Inspection Services (AQIS) requires any imported fresh food products to be treated thermally or with radiation at a minimum dose of 50 kGy. The pet food came from Canada—the Australian importing company speculated that free radical formation and vitamin A depletion must have been the cause of the neurological and physical harm to the cats.


It is well known that treatment by ionizing radiation may cause vitamin reduction as well as formation of free radicals but the cause of the cat deaths is not yet clearly understood and requires more investigation and verification. Contrary to the company's press release, the veterinarian who first identified this particular pet food as the common factor in cat deaths reported that vitamin A depletion wasn't observed in the affected cats.


Criticism and Concerns about Food Irradiation

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The neutrality of this article is disputed.
Please see the discussion on the talk page.  (January 2009)   
Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved.

For the source see Resources.


Concerns have been expressed by public interest groups and public health experts that irradiation, as a non-preventive measure, might disguise or otherwise divert attention away from poor working conditions, sanitation, and poor food-handling procedures that lead to contamination in the first place.


A complaint list may contain the following concerns and objections.  Food irradiation will:


- be used to mask spoiled food,

- discourage strict adherence to Good Manufacturing Practices,

- Preferentially kill 'good' bacteria, encourage growth of 'bad' bacteria,

- devitalize and denature irradiated food,

- impair the flavor,

- not destroy bacterial toxins already present,

- cause chemical changes which are harmful to the consumer, and, on top of all,

- is unnecessary in today's food system.


"Food irradiation is a pseudo-fix," said Bill Freese, a science policy analyst with the Center for Food Safety in Washington, DC. "It's a way to try to come in and clean up problems that are created in the middle of the food production chain. I think it's clearly a disincentive to clean up the problems at the source."


Processors of irradiated food are subject to all existing regulations, inspections, and potential penalties regarding plant safety and sanitization; including fines, recalls, and criminal prosecutions. But critics of the practice claim that a lack of regulatory oversight (such as regular food processing plant inspections) necessitates irradiation


"[Irradiation] is a total cop-out," said Patty Lovera, assistant director of Food and Water Watch. "They don't have the resources, the authority or the political will to really protect consumers from unsafe food."


While food irradiation can in some cases maintain the quality (i.e. general appearance and 'inner' quality) of certain perishable food for a longer period of time, it cannot undo spoilage which has occurred prior to irradiation.


Irradiation cannot be successfully used to mask quality issues other than pathogens.


However, as heat pasteurization (example milk), processing by ionizing radiation can contribute to eliminate pathogen risks from solid food (example meat or lettuce).


Milk heat-pasteurization is not considered to be a method 'to cover up poor food quality'; consequently, food irradiation should not be accused to serve such criminal purposes. Under a HACCP-concept (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) radiation processing can serve and contribute as an ultimate critical control point before the food reaches the consumer.



Alternatives for Food Irradiation

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Other methods to reduce several pathogens in food include heat-pasteurization, ultra-high temperature processing, UV radiation, ozone or fumigation with ethylene oxide.


For quarantine purposes, insect pests can also be eliminated by fumigation with methyl bromide or aluminum phosphine, vapor heat, forced hot air, hot water dipping, or cold treatment.


Other methods to extend shelf life of food items include modified atmosphere packaging, carbon monoxide, dehydration, vacuum packaging, freezing and flash freezing as well as chemical additives.


Opponents to food irradiation and consumer activists (cf. Public Citizen) maintain that the best alternative to food irradiation to reduce pathogens is in good agricultural practices.


For example, farmers and processing plants should improve sanitation practices, water used for irrigation and processing should be regularly tested for E. coli, and production plants should be routinely inspected.


Concentrated animal feeding operations near farmland where produce is grown should be regulated.


In treating cancer alternatively, food irradiation is devastating in the restoring of health from cancer and other debilitating diseases.  


It is of the utmost importance to ensure that daily substantial amounts of juice and other food is consumed with living enzymes, vitamins, minerals, supplements and other trace elements that our body needs. 


The selection of non-irradiation of food sources will be important in healing the body.  The health conscious person will turn to organic produced and processed foods.  It is also important to consider additional supplementation from only organic whole food supplements that have practiced good soil management.


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