Jen Mueller (202) 797-6553
jmueller [at] fwwatch.org
Global Week of Action Against Food Irradiation
Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter
Each November since 2003, activists around the world have worked together to organize a Global Week of Action Against Food Irradiation. Events ranging from educational forums to protest rallies have been held in the United States, Italy, France, the Philippines, Australia, and Brazil, highlighting the dangers posed by irradiated foods and by the facilities where they are irradiated. This year’s activities will be similarly diverse, marked by events focused on irradiated fruit in Australia and New Zealand, and public education about irradiated food in Europe.
U.S. consumers have been wary of irradiated food, for good reason. The technology doesn’t just kill bacteria; it depletes vitamins and creates new chemicals in foods that affect taste and smell. Studies have shown that irradiation destroys vitamin A, beta-carotene, and vitamin C in potatoes, orange juice and other foods.
Today, Food & Water Watch released a new report on the Status of Food Irradiation Around the World. While the technology is not popular in the United States, plans to build irradiators overseas could mean more irradiated imports for U.S. consumers.
Irradiation is a Band-aid, not a cure. It‚ an expensive technology that does not address contamination at the processing plant and may damage the food. Consumers around the world deserve better.