[A-List] Fw: What is the FDA Hiding?
Nicaragua Solidarity and Fair Trade Resource
nscchicago at igc.org
Tue Jun 5 12:29:08 MDT 2007
What is the FDA Hiding?Tom Baker here and friends, kick their butt. Sign on and forward.
Telk about it and tell friends. I call it the United States of Scam.
Laws on the books are rigid only against some.
----- Original Message -----
From: Center for Food Safety
Subject: What is the FDA Hiding?
Tell FDA Not to Weaken Labeling for Irradiated Foods!
Dear Thomas Baker,
What if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a rule that would intentionally hide information you rely on to make decisions about what to feed yourself and your family? Or if FDA proposed changing food labeling information to something the agency knows to be misleading to consumers?
Well, FDA has announced just such a rule to weaken labeling of irradiated foods.
Currently, irradiated food must be labeled as "Treated with irradiation" or "Treated by radiation" and have on them the irradiated symbol. But now, in yet another attempt to appease industry at the expense of the public, the FDA has proposed a new rule that would allow irradiated food to be marketed in some cases without any labeling at all. In other cases, the rule would allow the terms "electronically pasteurized" or "cold pasteurized" to replace the use of "irradiated" on labels. These terms are not used by scientists, but rather are designed to fool consumers about what's been done to their food.
Pasteurization involves heating liquids for the purpose of destroying harmful bacteria and other pathogens, and has been used safely for decades. Irradiation is a completely different process, using high-energy gamma rays, electron beams, or X-rays on meat, grains, and other foods.
Labeling irradiated foods as "pasteurized" is simply untruthful and misleading. Allowing the marketing of irradiated food without any labeling is equally misleading. Consumers have demanded irradiation labeling because they know that irradiation can create potentially dangerous chemical byproducts and reduce their foods' nutritional value.
In fact, FDA's own research found that the proposed change would confuse consumers, stating "Research indicates that many consumers regard substitute terms for irradiation to be misleading."
What is the FDA hiding? A lot.
Consumers have a right to truthful labeling in order to make informed choices for themselves and their families. A public comment period is open until July 3, 2007.
Protect Your Right to Know: Tell the FDA Not to Weaken the Rules for Labeling Irradiated Food!
*If the links in this email do not work for any reason, take action online here: http://ga3.org/campaign/Irradiation
Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):
FDA Docket No. #2005N-0272 c/o the Center for Food Safety
Below is the sample letter:
Subject: Oppose Docket #2005N-0272
Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],
Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305)
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061
Rockville, MD 20852
Re: Docket #2005N-0272
I strongly oppose the proposed rule to allow the use of the word "pasteurized" or other alternate terms on irradiated food, and the proposed waiver on any labeling requirement for some types of irradiated food. The current rules for irradiation labeling should be preserved.
Irradiation and pasteurization are completely different processes. Calling
irradiated foods "pasteurized" is scientifically wrong and can only serve
to manipulate consumers, not inform them. Consumers deserve accurate labeling that clearly indicates when food has been irradiated by use of the term "irradiated" with the radura symbol.
Consumer data has repeatedly shown that consumers recognize and prefer the current labeling requirements of irradiated food. In 2001, your agency conducted focus groups of consumers on this issue. Consumers participating unanimously rejected replacing the term irradiation with pasteurization and reacted with phrases such as, "sneaky," "deceptive," "misleading," and
"trying to fool us."
The proposed rule would also severely limit labeling requirements by requiring companies to label irradiated food only when the radiation treatment causes a 'material change' to the product. The Center for Food Safety and Food and Water Watch released a report last year, Food Irradiation: A Gross Failure, exploring these very changes in irradiated food, finding that "published research on irradiated foods repeatedly finds that they smell rotten, metallic, bloody, burnt, grassy and generally off. The taste was described as like sulfur, singed hair, burnt feathers, burnt oil and rancid fat."
Serious questions linger as to whether irradiated food is safe. CFS's report also cites several scientific studies that show irradiating certain foods can form volatile toxic chemicals, such as benzene and toulene; causes stunted growth in lab animals fed irradiated foods; and a startling 2001 study that linked colon tumor promotion in lab rats to new chemical compounds that are found only in irradiated foods, known as 2-alkylcyclobutanones (2-ACBs).
As someone who is concerned about the food I eat, I believe that I have a right to know if my food has been irradiated, and I have the right to avoid purchasing it if I choose to. As such, I believe the current labeling rules for irradiated foods should be maintained.
Thomas Baker Nicaragua Solidarity Fair Trade Resource
Click here to take action on this issue
Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this.
What's At Stake:
Check out our website for more information on food irradiation
Campaign Expiration Date:
July 1, 2007
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