When is 'safe' not safe?

   The F.D.A. has approved the irradiation of food using cobalt 60 and cesium

157 for everything from killing pathenogenic bacteria to preventing the

sprouting of onions, potatoes, carrots, ginger and garlic. The F.D.A. has even

approved the irradiation of eggs and tea!(18)

Recently the F.D.A. approved the irradiation of leafy greens such as lettuce and spinach.(Huffington Post, Aug 22, 2008 )

However, there will be more vegetables to follow.

These will be chemically treated prior to irradiation so that they appear to be fresh

after irradiation.

One of the companies that is currently irradiating lefty greens is Dole.

Because irradiation causes lefty greens to wilt, fresh leafy greens will be

chemically treated (with sulfites?) to keep them appearing green, fresh and crisp.

But don't be fooled by todays technology! Research for this paper was done at the library of the University of Medicine and Densitry of New Jersey, UMDNJ.Some references are given in this paper but they are only a handful of the thousands you can find in your local university or medical school library. Food is being radiated with ionizing radiation which is the equivalent of 30,000,000 chest X-rays! Is this safe and is this necessary? The answer to both questions is no! Laboratory studies have shown that irradiation of lipids in food causes the formation of toxins such as peroxides, which are free radical formers, formaldehyde, a carcinogen, and many unknown and uncharacterized radiolytic compounds. These have been implicated in colorectal cancers.(2,14,15,13.3, 13.4,21) More importantly, it is well known that irradiated food exhibits thermoluminescence, which means that irradiated food glows when you heat it! Irradiated food is also ESR active which means that the irradiation of food causes the formation of free radicals. Free radicals are known to be a health hazard. They cause tissue damage and are the cause of cancer, autoimmune diseases such as arthritis,and premature aging. In laboratory experiments human cell cultures grown in media containing irradiated sucrose showed significant chromosomal breakages.(3) An important study conducted by Bhaskram and Sadasivan (4, 13), clearly showed that when children were fed a diet of irradiated wheat they exhibited polyploidy of the lymphocytes. Polyploidy occurs when a cell contains many more copies of the chromosomes than normal. This is a condition which has been related to malignancy. Other chromosomal aberrations were also observed such as abnormally formed chromosomes and chromosomal breakage. The frequency of abnormalities increased while the children were on this diet. The study was only conducted for six weeks and a reversal of this condition was found when the irradiated wheat was removed from the diet. However, abnormalities were still observed in the children even 20 weeks after the irradiated wheat had been removed from their diet. The laboratory of Vijayalaxmi (5-7,10), examined rats fed a diet of freshly irradiated wheat. This group found a direct correlation between the appearance of polyploid cells in the bone marrow of test animals on the diet of irradiated wheat. Although it is not undestood what causes polyploidy, it is observed in the tumors of animals and humans including the case of acute leukemia. (8,9). This group also found that rats fed irradiated wheat showed other types of lethal chromosomal mutations and cell death.(7) A diet of irradiated wheat was also found to adversely effect the immune response of the rats. Rats given a diet of freshly irradiated wheat showed significantly lower than mean antibody titres in four different antigens with decreased numbers of antibody forming cells (10). They were three times more likely to develop pneumonia and the control group (11). A diet of irradiated wheat was also found to adversely effect the reproductive function and survival rate of young rats of the fifth generation when the dams were given a diet of freshly irradiated flour, oats, potatoes and meat. The amount of irradiation of the food was that recommended to the expert committee of the joint FAO/IAEA/WHO (9). Not surprisingly, with studies on mice, there was an increased incidence of intra-uterine deaths in normal female mice when mated with males fed freshly irradiated wheat. (12,13). Proponents of food irradiation point out that it makes food safe. 'Safe' is a relative term. They state that the level of toxins produced in irradiated food is 'comparable to that found in nature'. I do NOT buy this argument since nothing in nature glows when you heat it except a fire fly. If there were a brand of pet food on the market that was known to be irradiated we would go out of our way not to feed it to our pets, let alone feeding this to our growing children! They are hiding the term 'irradiation' behind the new term 'cold pasturization' so beware. Perhaps they feel they have something to hide. There are safe alternatives to irradiation or cold pasturization, which can be used to preserve food such as canning, steam pasturization or drying or just cleaning up the food indusry. Many of the fruits, vegetables and spices imported into the United States from abroad have been irradiated, such as the garlic imported from China and the tropical fruit imported from Australia.22 Many nations irradiate their food for export the the U.S. but do not sell the irradiated food within their own nation or to their own citizens. French Brie is one example. What can you do to fight back? My philosophy is simple - when you kick the 'beast', kick him in the wallet. You can grow your own fruits and vegetables. You can buy from reputable organic sources. You can 'pick your own' if you live near farms. You can shop at farmets markets for locally grown produce or begin a co-op in your area. If the government and the nuclear industry were truely interested in a safer food supply they would clean up the food industry and not irradiate the waste and tell us it was safe. Let's use our common sense and fight back! REFERENCES: Research done at UMDNJ UTOPIAS BLIGHT References: 1. Grower, J.D.;Willis,E.D.; The oxidation of benzo(a)pyrene mediated by lipid peroxidation in irradiated synthetic diets. Int. J. Radiat. Biol. (1986), 49:471-484 2. Steward, F.C.; Holsten, R.D.; Sugii, M.; Direct and indirect effects of radiation: The radiolysis of sugar. Nature 1967;213:178. 3. Shaw,M.W.; Hayes, E.; Effects of irradiated sucrose on the chromosomes of human lymphocytes in vitro. Nature 211:1254 1966. 4. Bhaskram,C.;Sadasivan,G., Effects of feeding irradiated wheat to malnourished children., Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 1975;28:130-135. 5.Vijayalaxmi,Sadasivan G., Chromosomal aberrations in rats fed irradiated wheat. Int. J. Rad. Biol & Related Stud. in Physics, Chem. & Medicine. 27 (2):135-42 1975 Feb. 6. Vijayalaxmi, Cytogenic studies in rats fed irradiated wheat. Int. J. Rad. Biol. & Related Stud. in Physics, Chem. & Medicine. 27(3): 283-5, 1975 Mar. 7.Vijayalaxmi, Visweswara Rao K., Dominant lethal mutations in rats fed on irradiated wheat. Int. J. Rad. Biol. & Related Stud. in Physics, Che. & Medicine. 29(1): 93-8, 1976 Jan. 8. Endoreduplication polyploidy and leukemia. Lancett, 2:511-512 1964. 9. Endoreduplication in untreated early leukemia., Houston, E.W. Lancet 2:496-7 5Sep1964 10. Vijayalaxmi, Immune response in rats given irradiated wheat. British Journal of Nutrition 40(3) 535-41 1978 Nov. 11.Shillinger, Food Irradiation Inf. (5)52 1975. 12. Vijayalaxmi, Genetic effects of feeding irradiated wheat to mice. Canadian J. Genet. Cytol. 18: 231-238, 1976 13. Expert Testimony U.S. CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS INTO FOOD IRRADIATION 14. Nutrition & Cancer Food-Borne Radiolytic Compounds (2-Alkylcyclobutanones)May Promote Experimental Colon Carcinogenesis 2002, Vol. 44, No. 2, Pages 189-191 15. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Genotoxic properties of 2-dodecylcyclobutanone, a compound formed on irradiation of food containing fat 16.Food Irradiation, A Gross Failure 17.Bad Taste 18.The Irradiation of Eggs, Public Citizen 19.The Truth About Irradiated Meat, Consumer Reports 20. Sustainable Table, General Information about food irradiation 21.Public Citizen, Food Irradiation pdf 22.World Irradiation Report: Food & Water Watch 23.Irradiation & Vegetables Don't mix
24.Food Irradiation - "Protecting" Us? Citizens for Health Jan 2008
25.FDA Approves Zapping Greens With Radiation For Food Safety,
Huffington Post, LAURAN NEERGAARD | August 21, 2008

26.The Food That Would Last Forever
Gary Gibbs, Avery 1993

Thank you George L. Tritsch
This site was last updated 21Sep2008