Thursday, June 30, 2011

Irradiation: the Smart Move

Reason posts a short essay from New Scientist on the German/Euro organic-food problem of last month.

Here's the last graf:

The real tragedy of the E. coli incident in Germany is that the outbreak could have been prevented if the organic industry had been willing to irradiate their produce. The bean sprout crop that was the source of the outbreak requires a warm and humid environment to grow, which increases the risk of contamination by E. coli and other disease-causing bacteria. The only certain means of reducing this risk is to irradiate the bean sprout seeds, which effectively kills 99.999 per cent of E. coli. There is no evidence that food irradiation is harmful to consumers, and also no evidence that it affects the nutritional quality of food.

The technology has been around for 20+ years; it's relatively inexpensive, and at 99.999% effective, why hasn't it been implemented?

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