Irradiation wipes out good bacteria as well as the harmful kinds.
Good bacteria found in foods curb the growth of dangerous bacteria and produce an odor that indicates spoilage. There is also a chance that the bacteria that survive the irradiation process can mutate and become radiation-resistant, which would make the entire process ineffective and potentially lead to the formation of bacteria that is also resistant to antibiotics."Radiation is a carcinogen, mutagen and teratogen," Dr. Geraldine Dettman, a Brown University safety officer, points out. "At doses of 100,000 rads on fruits and vegetables, the cells of the fruits and vegetables will be killed, and most insect larvae will be destroyed, but fungi, bacteria and viruses growing on the fruit and vegetables will not be killed . . .
They will be mutated, possibly leading to more virulent contaminants."It alters the content of foodThe nutritional content of irradiated foods is seriously compromised. Irradiation can destroy between 5 percent and 80 percent of vitamins and nutrients found in a variety of foods including essential vitamins A, B complex, C, E, and K. For example, irradiated eggs lose 80 percent of vitamin A and orange juice loses 48 percent of beta-carotene.Sources for this article include:http://www.organicconsumers.org/irrad/alkreb.cfm
The Facts about Food Irradation
The Facts about Food IrradationMyth: Irradiation is effective.
Fact: This is a very slippery claim. Yes, it does kill many infectious organisms, in particular, bacteria. However, it does not protect against toxic elements, such as the neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium that causes botulism. Killing the bacteria can create a sense of security, though the actual disease cause is still present.
Irradiation's effectiveness against viruses is limited, so anthrax and hepatitis may still survive after irradiation. Prions, the cause of mad cow disease, are untouched by it.
Reinfestation of food is not prevented by irradiation. In fact, it holds the potential of allowing worse contamination. By eliminating most infectious organisms, beneficial ones are also destroyed. This results in there being nothing to prevent reinfection, allowing opportunistic bacteria and viruses free rein in irradiated foods.
Factory farms are not healthy places. Pigs are kept for their entire lives in horrifically unsanitary conditions, with their droppings and urine left uncleared where they fall through the cages, so they rot and release constant toxic fumes. Irradiation is a means to avoid dealing with this inhumane and unhealthy situation.
Urine, feces, pus, tumors, and vomit are not removed by irradiation.
Myth: Irradiation is safe.
Fact: This is simply false. As documented in Food Irradiation, Cats, and Doublespeak: Researchers Reinvent Reality, it's well known to cause neurological damage in cats.
Irradiation generates furans in food. Carbofuran is a member of this class. It's the poison, which is banned in Europe and severely curtailed in the US, that FMC sells under the name of Furadan, as reported in PsychoCorp #1—FMC Product Banned in U.S. Kills Lions in Africa. All furans are considered carcinogenic. Fruits, in particular, are affected by the generation of furans.
Public Citizen reports laboratory animals fed irradiated foods suffered "a myriad of serious health problems in laboratory animals that ate irradiated foods, including premature death, fatal internal bleeding, a rare form of cancer, stillbirths and other reproductive problems, mutations and other genetic damage, organ malfunctions, stunted growth and vitamin deficiencies."
The growth of aflatoxin, implicated in liver cancer in southern states, is stimulated by irradiation. The World Health Organization considers aflatoxin to be a significant health risk. Unique Radiolytic Products (URPs) are produced by irradiation. These chemical compounds have not been well studied, but one group of them, cyclobutanones, have been found to promote cancer and genetic damage in rats, and to cause genetic and cellular damage in both rats and humans. Cyclobutanones are radiation by-products of palmitic acid, which is present in nearly all foods.
Other chemicals known to cause cancer and birth defects are formed by irradiation, including benzene, toluene, and methyl ethyl ketone.
Free radicals are formed by irradiation. These are the targets of antioxidants, supplements that are very popular now. Consider that some antioxidants, such as vitamin A, are destroyed by irradiation. So irradiation holds a double whammy against health—destroying the antioxidants that might help resolve the chemicals it creates.
The journal, Nutrition and Cancer reported in 2002 that colon cancer can be caused by a chemical compound found only in irradiated food.
Myth: Irradiation doesn't affect food quality.
Fact: There is extensive documentation for the loss of key nutrients from irradiation of food. The Center for Food Safety reports that anywhere from 2-95% of the vitamins can be lost. They cite losses of as much as 80% of vitamin A in eggs, 95% of vitamin A and lutein in green beans, 50% of vitamin A and lutein in broccoli, and 40% of beta carotene in orange juice. Irradiation is also reported to destroy the B, C, E, and K vitamins.
Irradiation doubles the trans fats in beef. See Why Trans Fat Is So Bad – and What Is It, Anyway? for more information about how harmful trans fats are.
The taste of irradiated foods is known to be changed. Odors have been described as rotten, off, metallic, bloody, burned, like a wet dog, and grassy. Tastes have been described as like sulphur, burned feathers, burned oil, singed hair, and rancid.
Beneficial organisms are killed along with harmful ones. Yeast and molds, which help prevent botulism, are destroyed, and others that create nasty odors telling us food has gone bad are also wiped out. So, you could purchase irradiated food that is rotten without even realizing it.
Irradiated raw foods may look fresh, but they aren't. Their nutritional content has largely been destroyed, and what's left is further deteriorated with the extra storage time that irradiation provides. It can make fresh-appearing food no better than junk food—empty calories.
Irradiation exposes food to radioactive materials, such as cesium-137 and cobalt-60, to kill insects, bacteria, molds, and fungi, prevent sprouting, and extend shelf life.Unfortunately, foods that have been irradiated lose much of their nutritional value. Irradiation can destroy between 5 and 80 percent of vitamins and nutrients found in a variety of foods including essential vitamins A, B complex, C, E, and K.
As an example, irradiated eggs lose 80 percent of vitamin A and orange juice loses 48 percent of beta-carotene.Although the heating and irradiation process are often done by governmental organizations to reduce the number of food borne illnesses, it has indirectly created a policy that increases the number of people killed by infections and chronic disease due to destruction of probiotics, enzymes, and other nutrients that help the body resist and destroy infection in the body.The bottom line is that the more whole, raw, and fresh the food consumed, the healthier the immune and detoxification systems that destroy such harmful pathogens.