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Organic Consumers Association

Action Alert: FDA Approves Irradiated Lettuce and Spinach: Make your voice heard! Click here to send the FDA a message during the 30-Day Comment Period

  • OCA, 8/25/08

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has okayed the irradiation of lettuce and spinach. Food irradiation is the process of exposing food to ionizing radiation in order to destroy disease causing pathogens, like bacteria and viruses.

However, you can make your voice heard by taking part in the FDA's 30-day comment period. OCA has created some talking points you might include and elaborate upon.

Irradiating food makes food more dangerous, not safer. Some major concerns with food irradiation include:

-The formation of free radicals, which can set off chain reactions in the body that destroy antioxidants, tear apart cell membranes, and make the body more susceptible to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, liver damage, muscular breakdown and other serious problems.

-Serious health problems in laboratory testing, including, including premature death, fatal internal bleeding, cancer, stillbirths and other reproductive problems, mutations and other genetic damage, organ malfunctions, stunted growth and vitamin deficiencies.

-The creating mutant forms of dangerous bacteria, like E. coli and Salmonella

-Nutrient loss in foods, including the destruction of vitamins and essential fatty acids.

-The formation of carcinogenic chemicals, like benzene and toluene.

-While irradiated lettuce and spinach must be labeled in supermarkets, there are currently no labeling requirements for restaurants serving irradiated produce or other items. Patrons and clients may consume irradiated lettuce and spinach in the future without their knowledge, nor consent.

-There are many alternatives to irradiation. Visit OCA's Irradiation Alternatives page for more information

Make your voice heard! Click here to send the FDA a message during the 30-Day Comment Period.

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