Controversy Over Irradiation of Food

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The school lunch program is designed to provide school age children throughout America with safe and nutritious food. Food that is used in school lunches should have its nutritional value and safety confirmed. However, on May 29, 2003, the USDA approved the use of irradiated ground beef in the school lunch program.


Schools are not even required to inform students and parents that they are using irradiated beef. Current FDA regulations only require that irradiated food be identified as irradiated when it is sold to the original customer. Restaurants and institutional cafeterias can use irradiated food without warning their customers. However, the USDA ruling has had little effect. Despite the fact that irradiated ground beef is being heavily promoted by the USDA and major food companies, almost no school districts are currently serving it in their cafeterias. High prices and possibly the fear of citizen complaints have stopped most schools from using any irradiated beef. Food irradiation continues to be a very controversial technology, and most consumers still reject it for many reasons.
This research paper is designed to analyze the technology of food irradiation. The advantages and drawbacks of food irradiation will be researched. Any unknown dangers that may occur due to the use or misuse of the technology will be discovered. A decision on whether food should be irradiated will be made.
Food irradiation involves the use of ionizing radiation on a food product. The radiation can be used to kill some or all of the viruses, bacteria, insects, and fungi in food. Irradiation can also be used to preserve food for a long period of time. ...
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