Ronnie Cummins is wrong in his comments on food irradiation. This is a technology that has been researched for decades, including human testing, and there is NO scientific evidence of harm. Of the thousands of studies done on food irradiation, Cummins has chosen to cite a very old study whose lead investigator has stated that the results did not show harm to human beings. This particular study was debunked on ABC-TVs 60 Minutes 15 years ago, when the Indian researcher involved was interviewed and contradicted the claims of the anti-irradiation group Food and Water.
There are no alarming changes to food that is irradiated. Radiolytic compounds are similar to those that appear when you cook your food.
Food irradiation whether by nuclear sources or ion beams has many positives: Tropical fruit can be picked ripe and then be shipped, ensuring good taste and texture (as opposed to the wooden fruit that we now get, which is picked green and then chemically treated or dipped in hot water to disinfest it). Chopped meat can be eaten rare, without worry. And for the tropical areas of the world, where up to 60 percent of their crops goes to waste (insects, fungi, rodents, etc.) before human beings can consume it, food irradiation can be a lifesaver.
Cummins and others may not want to eat irradiated food, because of their belief systems. But why lie about the process and why scare people? This is a technology that the world needs.
Marjorie Mazel Hecht
21st Century Science & Technology
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