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The Effect of Food Irradiation on Childrens Health - Essay Example

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This is an issue which impacts every household in America and quite possibly the world, yet a thorough understanding of the topic is limited. It is an unfortunate circumstance that only a limited number of the public is aware of the decisions which are being made concerning the food they, and even their grandchildren will eventually consume…
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The Effect of Food Irradiation on Childrens Health
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The Effect of Food Irradiation on Childrens Health

The assigned topic of this paper could only be dealt with peripherally, because there is only one study with data which relates directly to the subject. Albeit I found the study to be inconclusive and the sample of human participants to be dubious (malnourished children) and the sample size statistically insignificant, it was the only data available. To be sure, this points to the urgency and significance for a controlled study to be undertaken...
My findings on this topic bring to mind, an old Chinese proverb which states: "In life there are no problems, only situations which present us with the opportunity to learn something new." I will begin by making it abundantly clear that on this specific topic, we literally know a little bit of nothing. Of course we know irradiation is a process in which food is submitted to ionized radiation to kill bacteria. And that in 1915 radiation was used to kill trichina in meat, but the process had a long way to go because though the process eliminated the bacteria, it left a taste which was offensive to the pallet. After more than eighty five years, there have only been two known studies which have initiated feeding programs using humans as subjects. One was a 15 week feeding program conducted in China, and unfortunately for us, the data is in Chinese. The remaining feeding program of record was a 1976 feeding study which took place in India. The study was conducted by a two man team (Dr. P, C. Kesavan and Dr. P. V. Sukhatme). In the initial round of the study, the doctors fed freshly irradiated wheat to mice, rates, monkeys and five malnourished children. Their initial observations were that the mice and rats, which were fed the freshly irradiated wheat showed increased levels of polyploidy cells [cells with chromosome abnormalities] in their bone marrow. Initial observations of the monkeys and malnourished children who were fed the freshly irradiated wheat showed high elevated levels of polyploidy cells in circulating lymphocytes [white blood cells]. Several months [the literature was not specific on how many calendar days this was] after the wheat was withdrawn, levels of polyploidy returned to normal. Mice fed diets of freshly irradiated wheat-based diets showed evidence of dominant lethal mutation as indicated by increased numbers of intrauterine

[prenatal] deaths. In the second stage of the study, the researchers stored the wheat for twelve weeks after it ... Read More
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