The Good & The Bad: Feds Axe Meat Irradiation Scheme

Yesterday, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) rejected a petition by the American Meat Institute (AMI) to allow the irradiation of beef carcasses, a petition that was more about short-circuiting labeling requirements than anything else since the irradiation of processed beef has already been approved in the U.S.

Current beef irradiation regulations allow for processed beef or beef patties to be exposed to radiation the equivalent of tens of millions of chest x-rays. But the regulations also call for such products to be labeled as “irradiated” or “treated by radiation” in order to inform the consumer.

Citing the fact that the irradiation label was “scaring” the consumer away, the AMI – a trade association representing all of “big beef” – was hoping to get an approval to irradiate entire beef carcasses and, thus, avoid informing the consumer that the hamburgers (or steaks, roasts, etc.) from that carcass was exposed to radiation.

This isn’t the first – or last, most likely – attempt by the industrial food industry to kill the labeling of irradiated foods. Instead of addressing the filthy nature of their industrialism, the corporations monopolizing the food supply would like to hide the filth by exposing it to radiation.

Forgetting, of course, to ponder the consequences of consuming radiation-exposed foods. Yes, there is that to worry about. Just as there should be ample worry about the irradiation facilities themselves, which, even in their infancy, have been plagued with nuclear leaks and mishaps.

But this battle is far from over. The food corporations will not miss a chance to attack irradiation labeling or to promote new uses for irradiation (sprouts?). Thankfully, every underhanded attempt to promote this unnecessarily dangerous technology has failed because people have consistently rallied to reject it.

If you’d like to read more, you can do so at the appropriately named, Food Poison Journal.