Food Irradiation

US and International Agencies and Organizations that Endorse or Support Food Irradiation:

There is virtually unanimous support for food irradiation among scientific and health organizations. Some of the hundreds of groups that officially endorse food irradiation are listed below:

Health & Scientific Organizations:
American Dietetic Association
American Council on Science and Health
American Medical Association
American Veterinary Medical Association
Council for Agricultural Science and Technology
Health Physics Society
Scientific Committee of the European Union
UK Institute of Food Science & Technology
Institute of Food Technologists

Government Agencies:
Food and Drug Administration
U.S. Dept of Agriculture
International Atomic Energy Agency
International Food Information Council (IFIC)
United Nations Food and Agriculture (FAO)
World Health Organization (WHO)

Food & Agriculture Professional Associations
National Food Processors Association
American Farm Bureau
Federation National Fisheries Institute
American Feed Industry Association
National Food Processors Association
American Meat Institute
National Meat Association
Animal Health Institute
National Pork Producers Council
Apple Processors Association
National Turkey Federation
Chocolate Manufacturers Association
Northwest Horticulture Association
Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association
Produce Marketing Association
Food Distributors International
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
United Egg Producers
Millers' National Federation
Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association
United Egg Association
National Cattlemen's Beef Association
United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association
National Confectioners' Association
Western Growers Association Grocery Manufacturers of America

Health & Scientific Publications
New England Journal of Medicine

Several consumer groups, such as Food and Water Watch, Inc, and the Organic Consumers Association strongly oppose food irradiation. However, the arguments presented against irradiation by these groups have not been supported through a peer-review process or government agency review. These groups are often opposed to technologies and encourage their advocates to buy locally and reject many technologies that have strong support from medical and scientific experts. These organizations rely on donations and memberships to support their activities. Their arguments against irradiation are not based on science but on incomplete and out dated information. In some cases their arguments are completely false. One argument often presented is that the use of irradiation will allow for "dirty" meat, poultry, or produce to be processed and sold to consumers. However, increased contamination, including additional contamination by organic material, would require higher doses of irradiation for eradication, thus increasing the possibility of taste or odor concerns, a fact that would dissuade food companies from relaxing standards. It is important to have a high-quality product, with minimal contamination, for irradiation to work most effectively both in terms of food safety and consumer satisfaction. Health professionals can find an excellent fact sheet addressing irradiation and the concerns expressed by consumer critics on the Iowa State University website (see Related Links: Iowa State University).  










Food Irradiation Questions and Answers
Food Irradiation Update

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