The Debate on Food Irradiation

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Introduction There have been an increasing number of foodborne illnesses in this country and throughout the world in recent years. This has led to a heightened awareness of food safety. Food irradiation is being looked at as a potential solution to the problem. Food irradiation is the process of exposing food to ionizing radiation. Research shows that food irradiation can reduce or eliminate harmful pathogens and bacteria in our food, thus reducing, or even stopping the spread of foodborne illnesses. Proponents argue it has many benefits and will increase public safety. They believe it will increase the shelf life of the products we buy, and decrease the need for the use of other harmful chemicals. Ultimately, they believe food irradiation is a viable option to increase the safety of our food supply. Everyone does not share those feelings. Opponents of food irradiation are concerned about the safety of the process, and the long-term effects. They believe it opens up a new can of worms, with it’s own set of problems. These include the effects the irradiation has on the make-up and nutritional value of the food. They argue there are many environmental concerns to be considered. Opponents of food irradiation do have concerns about the outbreak of foodborne illnesses and the safety of the food supply. However, they feel it is an unnecessary extreme. They believe we should carefully evaluate our food handling practices. They believe a clean up of current conditions would greatly improve food safety. With the proper implementation of standards, we would not need to go the extreme of food irradiation. Consumers are becoming more aware of the food they eat each and everyday. They are label conscio... ... middle of paper ... ... Mph. "Technical Report: Irradiation Of Food." Pediatrics 106.6 (2000): 1505-1510. Print. Krisberg, Kim. "Despite wide support, food irradiation debate, continues." The Nation's Health Sep. 2004: 19 and 37. Print. Louria, Donald . "Zapping the Food Supply." The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 0 (1990): 34-36. Print. Osterholm, Michael, and Morris Potter. "Irradiation Pasteurization of Solid Foods: Taking Food Safety to the Next Level." Emerging Infectious Disease 3.4 (1997): 1-6. Print. Stewart, Eileen . "Food irradiation: more pros than cons? Part 2." Biologist Spring 2004: 141-144. Print. Tauxe, Robert . "Food Safety and Irradiation: Protecting the Public from Foodborne Infections." Emerging Infectious Diseases 7.3 (2001): 516-521. Print. "The Pros and cons of irradiation as an answer to keeping our food safe." Environmental Nutrition Oct. 2008: 7. Print.

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