What do you mean my food may be “irradiated?”

Are You Aware That in the United States the Following Foods May be Irradiated?
-Fresh meat and poultry (ground or whole poultry, pork, or beef)
-Wheat and wheat powder
-White potatoes
-Dry vegetable seasonings
-Fresh produce
What Does “Irradiated” Mean?
Irradiation is the process of intentionally exposing food to radiation, including gamma rays, electron beams, and X-rays. The FDA presently supports the use of Cobalt-60 culled from nuclear reactors on all domestically produced conventional food. Don’t you wonder why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows our food to be exposed to radiation on purpose, yet our country considers disasters, like the Fukushima meltdown in Japan, to be a health concern due to radiation poisoning in food?
Do Irradiated Foods Pose a Health Risk?
According to an article by Green Med Info, “food irradiation destroys much of the vitamin content of food, produces a number of toxic byproducts such as formaldehyde, benzene, and formic acid.” They also state that unique radiologic products are formed that have been demonstrated to be cytotoxic (damages cells), genotoxic (damages DNA), and carcinogenic (causes cancer) in test tube and animal studies. Sayer JI, founder of GreenMedInfo.com, states: “The FDA presently supports and actively promotes the use of Cobalt-60 culled from Nuclear Reactors as a form of electronic pasteurization on all domestically produced conventional food. The use of euphemisms like “food additive” and “pasteurization” to describe the process of blasting food with high levels of gamma-radiation cannot obviate the fact that the very same death-rays generated by thermonuclear warfare to destroy life are now being applied to food to “make it safer”…this is not a hypochondriac’s ratings, as we aren’t talking here about small amounts of radiation.” The level of gamma-radiation used starts at 1 KiloGray (equivalent to 16,700,000 chest x-rays or 333 times a human lethal dose) and goes all the way up to 30 KiloGray (500,000,000 chest x-rays or 10,000 times a human lethal dose).”
Red Flags: Why Food Irradiation May Not Be Safe
-2-alkylcyclobutanones (2-ACBs) are radiolytic derivatives of triglycerides found ONLY in irradiated foods. Studies on human cells have revealed potential cancer-causing effects.
-Furon is formed when ascorbic acid, fructose, sucrose, or glucose is irradiated. Furon in foods has been linked to liver toxicity and carcinogenicity.
-Dating back to 1969, a paper prepared for the Joint FAO/IAEA/WHO Expert Committee on Irradiated Food stated that “irradiation can bring about chemical transformations in food and food components resulting in the formation of potential mutagens.”
Look For This Symbol

The above symbol is called the radura. The FDA requires that irradiated foods include this symbol with the statement “treated with radiation” or “treated by irradiation.”
There are exceptions:
-Irradiated meat used in another product, like sausage, does not have to contain the radura symbol on the package; however irradiated meat must be listed as an ingredient.
-When you go out to eat, restaurants do not have to disclose whether the foods they use are irradiated.
-Most disturbing is that organicconsumers.org also states that foods are labeled to the first purchaser only. Irradiated spices, herb teas, supplement ingredients, foods that are served in schools or receive further processing, do not bear consumer labels. Consumer labels are required only for foods sold whole (like a piece of fruit) or irradiated in the package (like chicken breasts).
Things to Remember
-Certified organic foods are not allowed to be irradiated. Look for the USDA organic seal for verification.

USDA organic seal.svg
-Foods from local farmers are unlikely to be irradiated; hence the saying “buy local.”