Canada Oct 2, 2017 10:30:22 GMT
Post by Shep on Oct 2, 2017 10:30:22 GMT
May 28, 2017 A consumer advocate is pushing Ottawa to promote the irradiation of chicken to kill illness-causing bugs and to do a better job of getting buyers on board.
Bruce Cran claims that irradiation is safe and he worries that a lack of action could lead to a deadly outbreak. The federal government approved the sale of ground beef treated with radiant energy similar to X-rays to reduce the risk of illnesses caused by E. coli and salmonella. The products must be labelled to include an international symbol on packaging -- usually a green plant inside a circle.
The U.S. has allowed meat to be treated for years, but that country's Food and Drug Administration has noted that consumers' acceptance has been slowed by confusion over how irradiation works and what it does. It notes some people believe it makes food radioactive.
Critics claim irradiation produces toxins, such as benzene, and changes the taste of meat.
The Health Canada review noted an unpleasant odour with doses of irradiation higher than the one that was being considered for fresh chicken, but the smell was more likely to be noticed by experienced judges than average consumers. It also said the smell disappeared after a few days or after cooking.
Monique Lacroix, a researcher at the Canadian Irradiation Centre and at INRS-Institute Armand Frappier in Laval, Que., said in an interview last year that irradiation done at the low levels proposed by the meat industry, doesn't increase benzene or free radicals in an amount to be of concern. She noted that barbecuing meat produces billions of free radicals.
Graham, however, said irradiation is one more added process that negatively affects food.
"You still have storage. You still have refrigeration. You still have freezing. You still have all those things which are going to cause some nutrient loss -- and then you're adding irradiation on top of it which also is going to create some losses."
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