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Unsafe at any temperature: Part 3 January 21, 2006

Posted by Matt Hurst in Uncategorized.
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Part 3


The food industry has argued that the occurrence of food borne illness through contaminated animal products can be prevented through the practice of irradiation. Irradiation is the process of exposing food to high doses of ionizing radiation to kill bacteria and parasites that would otherwise cause food borne illness. Though the process employs radiation given off by radioactive substances, it does not pass on its neutrons and thus does not make anything around them radioactive#. Irradiation is already used to sterilize medical equipment for surgery or implantation and for the food given to NASA astronauts, so the safety of food treated by irradiation is known, as well as being an effective treatment to prevent food borne illness that can occur with factory farming.

Yet even in suggesting that irradiation should be administered on animal products to prevent the passing on of disease to humans, the food industry is admitting that the practices of factory farming promote the spread of disease, and thus pose a risk to human health. If the majority of food borne illness can be traced back to contaminated meat, then irradiation would not even need to be administered to animal products if not for the spread of disease on factory farms. Irradiation does not pose risks of its own to human health, but in the process depletes the nutritional content of food as well, eliminating the positive health benefits of animal food products that lead humans to consume them in the first place#. The practice also creates hazardous chemicals and radioactive waste, creating future potential threats to human health in the process of destroying food borne illness. Irradiation in itself does not solve problems to human health caused by animal products because it does nothing to fix the source of the problems – factory farming itself.

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