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 IRRADIATION IN AUSTRALIA - in the US already 
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It looks like we all need to become farmers, nothing is safe with our government in the US, this article is about Australia, but it said the US has been doing it for a long time.


http://www.purefood.org/irrad/Aussieupdate0201.cfm

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IRRADIATION IN AUSTRALIA

February 15, 2001

About the campaign in Australia

INVITING THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY TO DINNER

by Anna Barnes and Bettina Quatacker

Food irradiation is in the middle of a red tape burger for Steritech Pty. Ltd., the owner of the proposed nuclear irradiation plant for Narangba, Brisbane. The three ingredients in the recipe are: the approval for Steritech's application to irradiate food products, the referral to the Federal Environment Australia for approval of the plant's construction under the EPBC Act and the license approval by the Queensland Health Department for the use, transport and storage of radioactive Cobalt 60.

Food irradiation application
The Australia New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) is now reviewing public submissions on an amendment to the Irradiation of Food Code, Standard A-17, sought by the nuclear irradiation company, Steritech Pty. Ltd.

Steritech has applied to ANZFA to allow the nuclear irradiation of foods such as herbs, spices, oil eeds, nuts and teas in Australia and New Zealand. The final approval of this application lies with the Australia New Zealand Foods Council, which is made up of all the Health Ministers. They will most likely make a final decision on this application at their mid-year meeting. There will be an opportunity for a second round of public input during mid March to mid April. Prior to this, on the 3rd August 1999, State and Territory Health Ministers reached a consensus on allowing food irradiation to be accepted on a case by case basis. The provision being that the applicant meet all the licensing requirements. This shows that both Liberal and Labor Governments are supportive of food irradiation.

The approval of this application would signify the expansion of the nuclear industry into our food markets leading to eventual future applications by Steritech for the nuclear irradiation of fruit, vegetables and meat products. This has happened in the United States, where foods such as fruit, vegetables, beef, lamb, pork and spices are irradiated at nuclear irradiation facilities which use the radioactive isotopes Cobalt 60 or Cesium 137.

If Steritech's application is successful, food would be irradiated in addition to other products at their irradiation plants at Wetherill Park in Sydney and the proposed plant for Narangba in Brisbane. If ANZFA allowed food to be irradiated, the permitted sources of radiation would include the radionuclide Cobalt 60 or X-ray or electrons generated form machine sources. Cobalt 60, manufactured in a nuclear reactor in Canada, would be used in Australia. Cesium 137, a waste component of nuclear power reactors and nuclear weapons production, used as an irradiation source in the United States is so far prohibited as a source in Australia.

Melbourne-based Steritech promote food irradiation to extend the shelf life of food, kills microbes and pests and to prevent the sprouting and/or germination of food or weed seeds which may be present in the food.

In food irradiation, food is placed on a conveyor belt and passed into a shielded chamber. It is exposed to the gamma radiation of Cobalt 60 for a calculated amount of time. The irradiated food is then passed our of the chamber, stored to reduce any toxicity induced by irradiation and then transported for further processing to food manufacturers for wholesale or retail distribution.

Referral process
The Minister for the Environment, Robert Hill confirmed on the 5th January 2001, that the nuclear irradiation facility will require further assessment under the Federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) referral process. The Minister will announce the level of assessment after consulting with Environment Australia. Depending on the type of assessment there may be avenue for public input.

Prior to this the Caboolture Shire Council did not request any environmental impact assessment from Steritech to grant the approval for construction.

A license to irradiate
The possible approval of food irradiation would result in an increase of nuclear materials being transported on our roads through nuclear-free zones as that of Brisbane without public consultation. Queensland's Minister for Health, Hon. Wendy Edmond, has indicated she is likely to approve a license for Steritech to use, transport and store radioactive Cobalt 60. Steritech simply have to satisfy the regulations as defined under the State Radiation Safety Act, to be granted their license. There is no avenue for public input into this process and there are no other grounds for refusal of the license, except for political pressure by the community.

Long-term health effects
Irradiation breaks up the chemical bonds in food. These chemical bonds recombine into new chemical compounds called radiolytic products known to be carcinogenic. The chemical changes produced by irradiation also result in free radicals which weaken our immune system by depleting our natural levels of anti-oxidants and can therefore promote cancer.

Scientific opinion is generally in agreement about the uncertainty of long-term effects of irradiated food on human health. Few tests have been performed on human beings. One well-known scientific study was performed by the National Institute of Nutrition in India to examine the effects of irradiated food on malnourished people, as they recognised there is malnutrition in many countries. The nuclear industry promotes food irradiation as a means to alleviate world hunger. The Indian study called 'The Effects of Feeding Irradiated Wheat to Malnourished Children' by C. Bhaskaram M.D. and G. Sadasivan M.Sc, M.B.B.S, M.C was published in the American Journal of Nutrition 1975. A group of fifteen children suffering from protein-calorie malnutrition were divided into three groups of five each. The results showed that children receiving freshly irradiated wheat developed polyploid cells, which are cells that consist of chromosome defects, and other abnormal cells which gradually disappeared when the diet of irradiated wheat was withdrawn. The number of polyploid and abnormal cells in children fed a diet of stored irradiated wheat was much less and children on a diet of unirradiated wheat showed no evidence of polyploid or other types of abnormal cells.

Steritech brochures promote the use of nuclear irradiation on animal feed. There have been a wide range of studies done by various scientific bodies on the effects of irradiated food on laboratory animals. The results of these tests can be read in the Food Irradiation Fact Sheets of Friends of the Earth, compiled by Heiman Julius. Laboratory tests have been held using standard animal house diets mixed with irradiated foods. It contained anti-oxidants in modest quantities. The tests have involved rats, monkeys, mice, hamsters and dogs. This diet resulted in a "lowered immune resistance, an upsurge in abnormal lymph cells, decreased fertility, damage to kidneys, depressed growth rates, Vitamin A, B, C, E and K deficiency". (Food Irradiation Fact Sheet 'Is Daily Use of Irradiated Food Safe?', Friends of the Earth).

Accident potential
The link of food irradiation with radioactive materials does not only involve public risk in connection with road accidents, in the transport of Cobalt 60 rods, but it also leaves workers and residents in the surrounding area of the irradiation plant open to the risk of radiation injuries in the case of workplace incidents. In May 1979, an incident at the Steritech plant in Dandenong, Victoria, involved a basket gate jamming in the overhead rollers, buckling the gate and jamming the source rack. It took 30 minutes to free the Cobalt 60 source so it could descend into the pool. A further 8 hours were needed to 'redesign' the basket gate. In 1986, an Australian Federal Member for Parliament inspected the pant's records. His investigation revealed that the plant had been shut down for 5 days in August 1980, because the wire cable controlling the Cobalt 60 source rods had jammed while the source was exposed, preventing the rods from being lowered into the containment tank remaining exposed for 5 and ½ hours. Later the cable was described as being cut, but the Managing Director Mr. George West claimed that it had snapped when he appeared before the Australian Parliamentary Standing Committee in 1987.

Parliamentary discussions
According to the Hansards (records of parliamentary discussions) the subject of food irradiation of the construction of the nuclear irradiation plant have not been discussed in the Queensland Parliament in the past ten years except for one passing remark on food irradiation in 1995….

What you can do
Contact Queensland's Minister for Health, Hon. Wendy Edmond to say not to food irradiation and no to the license for Steritech to use, transport and store radioactive Cobalt 60. The Minister's Office phone number is (07)3234 1191.
Contact the State and Territory Health Ministers to say no to food irradiation. They will be meeting mid year to discuss the Food Code.
The second round of public submissions will be invited for comment on the Inquiry into Steritech's Application (A413) for the irradiation of herbs, spices, oil seeds, nuts and teas in mid March to mid April.
Contact the Stop Food Irradiation for more information, see below for contact details.

Web sites to check out
http://come.to/nuke.free.narangba
http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/rcopin.html
http://www.purefood.org

This article was taken from the 'Good News", a monthly newsletter produced by Everyone For a Nuclear Free Future, Brisbane. If you would like to subscribe (only $20 per year) email ENuFF on enuffalready@telstra.easymail.com.au or phone (07)3358 3813 - everybody needs Good News.

ABOUT THE STOP FOOD IRRADIATION ALLIANCE

The Stop Food Irradiation Alliance has been formed to compliment the efforts of the many groups and individuals that have been actively campaigning for the past 19 months against the nuclear facility and the subsequent irradiation of food. The Alliance aims to provide updates and circulate relevant information. Activities that the Alliance have so far undertaken are awareness stalls at festivals and markets, letter box leafleting, media interviews and political lobbying. Please contact the Alliance if you would like to know how to make Australia irradiated food free.

Phone: c/o (07)3846 5793 or (07)3876 2267
Email: stopfialliance@yahoo.com
Address: PO Box 5702, West End Q 4101

ABOUT THE ALLIANCE
The Stop Food Irradiation Alliance has been formed to compliment the efforts of the many groups and individuals that have been actively campaigning for the past 19 months against the proposed nuclear irradiation plant for Narangba, Queensland, and the subsequent irradiation of food at this facility.
The Alliance aims to provide campaign updates and circulate relevant information. Activities that the Alliance have so far undertaken are: politician hassling, awareness stalls at festivals and markets, letter box leafleting to 10,000 houses, collection of petition signatures and media interviews.

SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGNING Campaigning a decade ago saw a moratorium placed on food irradiation - we can again be successful. The irradiation plant was due to start construction in March just 45 miniutes drive from Brisbane Central. However, Steritech Pty. Ltd. the owners of the plant have delayed construction due to pressure from public opposition.

WHAT YOU CAN DO Please register your interest by return email or and/or by phone (07)3876 2267. Already we have received enthusiastic support and we hope to gain your interest.

WHAT IS FOOD IRRADIATION? Food irradiation involves exposing food products to highly radioactive Cobalt 60 for decontamination purposes. The radioactive material is produced in nuclear reactors in Canada. Irradiation destroys nutrients and antioxidants in the food. It produces free radicals and aflatoxins which have been linked to negative long-term health effects as shown during animal and human experiments.

WHO WANTS IT? Steritech have applied to ANZFA (Aus. and NZ Food Authority) for the irradiation of spices, herbs, nuts, oil seeds and teas. Steritech's Application finally proved the motivation behind Steritech's proposal for their nuclear facility at Narangba. Prior to this Steritech publicly stated that they were not interested in food irradiation.

A survey of the industries associated with Steritech's food irradiation application revealed that they were not interested in irradiating their products and they believe the process may have a negative impact on their sales. One tea company has even put in their own submission opposing Steritech's proposal.

According to World Trade Organisation 'rules', when a country exports irradiated food it must then receive imports. Australia should not have to introduce food irradiation just to satisfy the WTO.

SCIENTISTS SPEAK OUT: 'I am opposed to food irradiation because it is clear that this process increases the levels of mutagens and carcinogens in the food. The inevitable consequence of this is that in two to five decades in the future, the incidence of cancer will increase from hwat we see now, in direct proportion to the amounts of irradiated food consumed... Thus, food irradiation becomes very expensive both in terms of human lives, as well as health care costs...' Georg L. Tritsch, Ph.D., Rosewell Park Cancer Institue, Buffalo, New York.

Anna Barnes, Stop Food Irradiation Alliance, phone (07)3876 2267


Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:03 am
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You will probably not like my response on this subject, but I for one would purchase any items in my local grocery store that was labeled as having gone through this process and that was packaged in a sealed container. Contrary to popular belief, the food is no more harmed than you are when you receive an x-ray or a cat-scan. The huge benefit is that the food will have zero living bacterial, viral or parasitic contaminants, thus you will not get sick or die from infectious diseases, and it will not spoil until the seal is broken on the container.

I would love to have a room full of this stuff set aside for my long term survivability in the event of a famine or an interruption of the normal food supply, but I know that I am in the minority on the issue. 8-)


Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:45 pm
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Pete61 wrote:
You will probably not like my response on this subject, but I for one would purchase any items in my local grocery store that was labeled as having gone through this process and that was packaged in a sealed container. Contrary to popular belief, the food is no more harmed than you are when you receive an x-ray or a cat-scan. The huge benefit is that the food will have zero living bacterial, viral or parasitic contaminants, thus you will not get sick or die from infectious diseases, and it will not spoil until the seal is broken on the container.

I would love to have a room full of this stuff set aside for my long term survivability in the event of a famine or an interruption of the normal food supply, but I know that I am in the minority on the issue. 8-)


How does this process not kill the good bacteria we need to stay healthy?

Don't small amounts of bad bacteria allow our immune systems build up a natural resistance to it. Vaccines work like that right?

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Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:58 pm
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I would though be ok with emergency storable food like this so it can be stored for long periods.

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MY OUTSIDE RADIATION MONITORING STATION:
South Beloit, Illinois - GMC200 Outside on HEPA air purifier, ground level, facing West.
http://netc.com/chart/view.php?n=1%3AEB5A139C


Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:04 pm
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It kills all of the living organisms in the food for long term, safe storage. You receive the good bacteria that you need from the fresh perishable items that you eat and drink every day. I would only use these products for long term storage, not for day to day use to take the place of fresh food sources. You are already using pasteurized milk, the good bacteria that you need has been killed, thus you can keep it in your refrigerator for extended periods of time instead of having it delivered fresh to your door daily. As consumers we should be fighting for the preservation of our local sources of farm fresh foods, like fresh unpasteurized dairy products, but I'm not for eliminating the access to foods that will be preserved for later use. Unpasteurized products will not last as long, unsealed and unfrozen meats sealed in the open air will not last long, but we have the convenience of the pasteurization process and the availability of freezers in order to prolong their usefulness to us. Irradiated food falls into this category, it's long term storage capability is awesome!


Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:19 pm
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The worst problem isn't short term exposure to radiation. The problem is it changes the chemical structure of the food - now turning it from nutritious to carcinogenic. Also, radiation would destroy any of the nutritious aspects of it... you might as well buy ramen. Really expensive ramen.


Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:18 pm
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