Zapped! Irradiation and the Death of Food
Washington, DC – As government authorities reel from a record breaking year of food recalls and a new nationwide Sallmonella outbreak, a new book brings to light the science–and the politics–behind food irradiation, a misguided technology being promoted by the food and nuclear industries.
Written plainly and passionately, Wenonah Hauter‚ Zapped! Irradiation and the Death of Food is timely and fact-filled. The book details the rise of irradiation in the American food supply and makes the case that irradiation is expensive, impractical, ineffective, and potentially dangerous.
“While the public is being sold on irradiation as a solution to the growing crisis of foodborne illness, this technology is used to satisfy the food industry‚ ever-growing craving to cut costs and increase profits,” writes Hauter in the preface to Zapped! “However, irradiation does virtually nothing to actually improve food quality.”
“Irradiating dirty meat doesnt make it clean,” says Hauter. “Whenever there‚ a food poisoning outbreak, we hear about irradiation. But irradiation is a bad idea for meat and completely impractical for vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, or tomatoes. And to add insult to injury, the government may take away the labels currently required for irradiated food.”
Rather than deceive the public that “zapping” food will make them safer, Hauter and her co-author Mark Worth urge the food industry and government to address the real problems – in food production – too-fast processing lines, too-long distances for food to travel, and dirty conditions at plants.
Americans have a right to know what is happening to their food and to speak out against unsafe and unhealthy practices. Zapped! will empower citizens to do just that.
Wenonah Hauter is the executive director of Food & Water Watch. She has worked extensively on energy, food, water, and environmental issues at the national, state and local level. Experienced in developing policy positions and legislative strategies, she is also a skilled and accomplished organizer, having lobbied and developed grassroots field strategy and action plans. She has also held leadership positions at Public Citizen, Citizen Action, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. She has an M.S. in Applied Anthropology from the University of Maryland.