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Congress Applauded for Restrictions on Force-Feedeing Irradiated Meat To Students

From:

THE
AGRIBUSINESS
EXAMINER
August 12, 2004, Issue #365
Monitoring Corporate Agribusiness
>From a Public Interest Perspective

EDITOR\PUBLISHER; A.V. Krebs
E-MAIL: avkrebs@earthlink.net
WEB SITE: http://www.ea1.com/CARP/
TO RECEIVE: Send name and address


CONGRESS APPLAUDED FOR
RESTRICTING SCHOOL LUNCH
USE OF IRRADIATED FOOD

WENONAH HAUTER, DIRECTOR, PUBLIC CITIZEN'S FOOD PROGRAM: It is encouraging to see that Congress is protecting the most vulnerable population within its
constituency.

Following the June 23 U.S. Senate vote, the U.S. House of Representatives on
June 24 passed the Child Nutrition Act, which states that irradiated food
may be made available to school children only at the request of state and
local school systems and that its use in school lunches cannot be mandated
by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); that irradiated food cannot be
subsidized by the federal government; and that state and school food
authorities are to be provided with factual information about irradiation,
including notice that irradiation is not a substitute for safe food
handling.

The bill also requires irradiated foods that are distributed to federal meal
programs for children to be labeled as irradiated.

The USDA's May 2003 decision to approve irradiated meat for the national
school lunch program was controversial because the federal agency chose
industry over parental concerns.

Of the more than 5,000 comments the government received, 93% were in
opposition to the proposal to include irradiated meat in children's lunches.
In response, 10 school districts across the country, including in Los
Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., banned irradiated meat from
school lunches.

Given that the National School Lunch Program feeds 27 million children, it
is vital that meals served at school are healthy, nutritious and safe.
Research shows that a class of chemicals created during irradiation may be
harmful.

Further, there is a lack of research on the potential health effects of
feeding irradiated foods to children, who are more susceptible than adults
to adverse effects of consuming toxic substances. School children shouldn't
be guinea pigs for a questionable technology, the long term effects of which
are unknown. [ June 24, 2004 ]

Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization
based in Washington, D.C. For more information, see
http://www.citizen.org