FDA Gets Radiation Happy With Our Food

Posted on May 7, 2014 in Environment, Medical Rewind

imageThe food manufacturing process in our country is inefficient, resulting in a serious problem in the control of food borne pathogens and the illnesses they cause.  In the past, the FDA who is charged with protecting consumers from such a problem, has addressed the issue by treating the symptoms and not the cause.  Instead of working harder to eliminate unclean and unsanitary food manufacturing and handling conditions, the FDA approved the irradiation of meats, poultry, fruits, vegetables, spices, lettuce and more (See our  March 4, 2014 Scales of Justice article entitled “FDA Affirms Irradiation of Lettuce and Spinach Despite Objections” at www.liattorney.com/scales-of-justice.html).

The FDA has recently announced the expansion of the list of foods now approved for radiation treatment.  In addition to all those foods listed above, the FDA has now added crustaceans such as crab, shrimp, lobster, crayfish and prawns.  This decision was in response to a petition filed by the National Fisheries Institute and made “…to control food borne pathogens and extend shelf life.”  According to the FDA, “At the maximum permitted dose of 6.0 kiloGray, this new use of ionizing radiation will reduce, but not entirely eliminate, the number of pathogenic (illnesses causing) microorganisms in or on crustaceans.”

The FDA has officially become radiation happy with our food.  Perhaps the next move by the FDA, will be to amend regulation 21 CRF 179 to allow the irradiation of “all food” instead of approving it on a piecemeal basis.  Addressing the symptoms instead of the cause of the problem is not the solution.  If the average person was to take the same approach in their workplace, they would likely be fired.  But the FDA does so with untouchable arrogance.  Unfortunately, the approach of addressing symptoms and not the cause appears to be shared with the pharmaceutical industry in our country as well.  After all, there is no money in the cure of an illness compared to the treatment of an illness.  Ironically, both the food and the drugs in this country are controlled by the FDA.  If it looks like a conflict of interest and smells like a conflict of interest, then it is a conflict of interest!

Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.