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Do You Know What Pasteurization and Irradiation Really Mean?

The FDA has proposed relaxing its rules on labeling of irradiated foods; it may allow some irradiated products to be labeled "pasteurized."

The change would require companies to label irradiated food only if the irradiation causes a material change to the product, such as changes to the taste, texture, smell or shelf life of a food.

Pasteurization usually means heating a product to a high temperature and then cooling it rapidly. The FDA proposed letting companies use the term "pasteurized" to describe irradiated foods if the radiation kills germs as well as the pasteurization process does.

The consumer group Food & Water Watch has urged the FDA to drop the idea. The FDA has acknowledged that the proposed change could confuse consumers.

USA Today April 4, 2007

MSNBC April 3, 2007

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

If the FDA gets its way, as long as the food looks and smells normal, chances are better than good you won't know whether that specific food has been "nuked" or not.

Rightly so, consumer groups aren't at all happy with the proposal that "would deny consumers clear information about whether they are buying food that has been exposed to high doses of ionizing radiation," according to Food & Water Watch. Industry groups like the Grocery Manufacturers/ Food Products Association are elated about it, however, considering the irradiated label has such a negative impact on consumers it acts like "a warning label."

Well, it should be a warning label.

Research has revealed a wide range of problems in animals that eat irradiated food, including premature death, a rare form of cancer, reproductive dysfunction, chromosomal abnormalities, liver damage, low weight gain and vitamin deficiencies. Irradiation also destroys vitamins, disrupts the chemical composition of food, and masks and encourages filthy conditions in slaughterhouses and food-processing plants.

All the more reason you should stay away from processed foods entirely, restrict your meat choices to grass-fed or organic meats and seek out local sources for the foods you eat.

Please read the discussion below, especially as it relates to almonds. Eighty percent of the world's crop comes from California, and the USDA recently announced that it will be irradiating the entire crop because there is "no nutritional difference."

Well, we know better, so if you like almonds I suggest contacting them at the link below.


On April 30, 2007 I received a letter from Richard Waycot, thepresident and CEO of the Almond Board of California (ABC), to tell methat the ABC will not use any heating or radiation to "pasteurize"their almonds. He explained that they will instead be using propyleneoxide to "pasteurize" the almonds.

 Mr. Waycott provides the following reassurance:

"Pasteurized raw almonds do not differ in any significant way, taste, quality or nutritional value - from untreated almonds. Pasteurization simply reduce the presence of harmful bacteria on those almonds to safe levels while maintaining taste , quality and nutritional value"

So now we can relax?


Apparently Mr. Waycott believes I am just as gullible as 95% of the average consumer. He expects me to accept his propaganda with out one single reference to support his safety assertion. Even a simple search for proplyene oxide in Wikipedia provides the following information:

"Propylene oxide is a highly toxic flammable chemical compound. It was once used as a racing fuel, but that usage is now prohibited under the US NHRA rules for safety reasons. It is also used in thermobaric weapons. It is an epoxide."

The bottom line is that if any process kills bacteria it has thepotential to cause problems in humans OR significantly change thequality of the food.  No Mr. Waycott I don't buy your flimsyreassurances, but I do appreciate your warning of this previouslyunknown way that you can damage our food supply.

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