Tell FDA that Irradiation is NOT the Solution to Food-Borne Illness

HELLO... Please Help Protect the Quality of our FOOD!!!


The FDA recently announced that it will allow food producers to start irradiating fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce in an attempt to kill E. coli O157:H7 and other bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses, despite health, safety, and nutritional loss concerns.
Irradiation is not the solution to food-borne illness.  It is ineffective on many disease-causing microbes and reduces the nutritional content of foods.  Most importantly, its use serves to distract attention from the unsanitary conditions of industrial agriculture that creates the problem in the first place. Rather than endorse a dubious technofix, FDA should issue regulations that reduce contamination of leafy greens like spinach with dangerous microbes.
Send your objection to FDA today!

Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):
Docket No. FDA-1999-F-2405

Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Docket No. FDA-1999-F-2405: Objection

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

Docket No. FDA-1999-F-2405
Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305),
Food and Drug Administration,
5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061,
Rockville, MD 20852.
Fax: 301-827-6870

Docket No. FDA-1999-F-2405: Irradiation in the Production, Processing and Handling of Food

I strongly object to FDA's rule (Docket. No. FDA-1999-F-2405) allowing irradiation of fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce.

Scientific studies have documented that irradiation can dramatically lower the nutritional content of foods, particularly vitamin A and folate, an essential B vitamin. The FDA's proposal concedes that irradiation will make spinach less nutritious, yet fails to adequately consider the impact of these nutritional losses.

The rule may also deceive consumers in two ways. While consumers are generally aware that cooking reduces nutrient content, the nutritional losses from irradiated fresh spinach are effectively invisible. Irradiation fails to kill food-borne viral pathogens as well as some pathogenic bacteria. Consumers expecting irradiation to render fresh spinach and lettuce safe may forego other safety measures, such as washing.

I strongly urge you to rescind the rule. Irradiation is not the solution to food-borne illness, and represents an irresponsible band-aid solution to a complex agricultural problem. Instead, FDA should consider alternatives to irradiation that increase food safety without lowering the nutritional value of fresh spinach and lettuce. Such alternatives include regulations to reduce contamination with microbial pathogens at the source, such as mandatory composting of manure before application to fields, and monitoring of irrigation water for pathogens.

Thank you for taking my objections into consideration.