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Irradiated foods: Safe or not?

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sociology
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UC Berkeley

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documents in English
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term papers
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2 pages
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  1. Introduction
  2. Pro-radiation
    1. Process of irradiation
    2. Proponents of the process
    3. Promotion by the FDA
  3. Anti-radiation
    1. The main use of irradiation
    2. Dangerous effects of radiation
    3. FDA's endorsement
  4. Conclusion
  5. Works cited

Radiation is used by the food industry to ensure that food is not contaminated by bacteria that will cause it to spoil. Subject of public discussion since the 1980s, the process has become increasingly common in the last decade. Along with this, the public has become concerned that irradiated food may be hazardous for the consumer. Many consumers strongly oppose the process, and insist that food treated this way should not be sold at all, even while the FDA has created regulations that permit its wider use. Who's right? Here are some things to consider in this issue. In the process of irradiation, food is briefly exposed to gamma radiation, long enough to kill bacteria that it may contain.

[...] Irradiated foods: Safe or not? Radiation is used by the food industry ensure that food is not contaminated by bacteria that will cause it to spoil. Subject of public discussion since the 1980s, the process has become increasingly common in the last decade. Along with this, the public has become concerned that irradiated food may be hazardous for the consumer. Many consumers strongly oppose the process, and insist that food treated this way should not be sold at all, even while the FDA has created regulations that permit its wider use. [...]


[...] In the question of whether or not to eat irradiated food, here's what we choose between: long shelf life and low bacteria count on the one hand, against off taste, poor nutrition, and the risk of cancer on the other. The "benefits" of radiation seem to favor only commercial supply chains and modern marketing, while unirradiated food is still the clear favorite for quality and lack of long-term ill effects. Irradiation has been used to sterilize pharmaceuticals for over 40 years. [...]

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