Health updates

The following is new information regarding FDA labeling requirements for irradiated foods and raw almonds.

FDA seeks to remove labeling requirements for irradiated foods

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed new regulations that will allow the sale of irradiated foods without labeling them, as previously required by law.

Consumers are justifiably wary of foods bombarded with nuclear waste or powerful x-rays or gamma rays, since irradiation destroys essential vitamins and nutrients, creates unique radiolytic chemical compounds never before consumed by humans, and generates carcinogenic byproducts such as formaldehyde and benzene.

Although irradiation, except for spices, is banned in much of the world, and is prohibited globally in organic production, U.S. corporate agribusiness and the meat industry desperately want to be able to secretly “nuke” foods to reduce deadly bacterial contamination.

Public interest groups have repeatedly pointed out that the best way to reduce or eliminate our 78 million cases of food poisoning every year would be to clean up slaughterhouses and feedlots, stop contaminated runoff from intensive confinement feedlots, and to stop feeding animals slaughterhouse waste and manure.

FDA says raw almonds must be pasteurized

Under pressure from industrial agriculture lobbyists, the FDA has quietly approved a regulation that requires pasteurization of almonds, including organic, yet allows them to continue to be labeled as raw.

Nutritionists point out that raw, organic almonds are nutritionly far superior to pasteurized almonds.

One FDA-recommended pasteurization method requires using propylene oxide, which is classified as a “possible human carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and is banned in Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

Organic and family-scale almond farmers say it will put them out of business, since the equipment costs more than $500,000. The FDA claims pasteurization is necessary, since two food contamination incidents with raw almonds have been reported since 2001. Both were from blatant mismanagement on industrial-scale almond farms.



Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 3, June/July 2007.


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