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Nuclear Food Madness Coming to Illinois

Two food irradiation companies are planning to open plants in the Chicago area this year, and bring their nuclear food madness to markets in Chicago and suburbs.
In January 2001, Ion Beam Applications, SA of Belgium (IBA) announced it had received government approval to use gamma radiation to irradiate fresh meat and poultry at its facility in Schaumburg, Illinois. In March 2001, Surebeam Corporation, child of Titan, the defense contractor, announced plans to build a 250 million pound/year capacity food irradiation facility in Chicago.

Irradiation exposes food to up to 1 billion chest x-rays of ionizing radiation to kill bacteria and increase the shelf life of some foods. The Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Agriculture have legalized food irradiation as a cheap fix for the problem of industrialized farming and food processing practices that leave meat contaminated with feces, urine, and pus. Irradiation depletes nutrients in food, can kill beneficial organisms, and creates new chemicals in food, some of which may cause cancer.

IBA and SureBeam exemplify what is wrong with our nation’s food system. These multinational companies want to take food irradiation worldwide, and their announcements about the Schaumburg plant and the Glendale Heights plant are a first step towards creating a nation-wide food irradiation network. This is bad news for small farmers because irradiation extends food’s shelf life, opening the door for multinational corporations to shift food production to countries with cheap labor and nearly non-existent labor laws. It’s also bad news for consumers and the environment, because these countries often have weak rules on pesticide use and other agricultural practices.

What You Can Do About Food Irradiation:

The following companies either are, or are considering using, irradiation. First, call these companies and tell them you are watching them and will not buy irradiated food, and will boycott their products if they use irradiation.
· Colorado Boxed Beef: 863-967-0636.
· Papaya Administrative Committee: 808-969-1160.
· Huisken Meats: 1-800-852-1863.
· Kraft customer service: 1-800-543-5335.
· Tyson customer service: 1-800-233-6332.
· Wal-Mart customer service: 1-800-WAL-MART.
· The meat packers: Emmpak: 1-800-323-0639 * Excel/Cargill: 1-877- 543-0453 * IBP: 1-800-827-1544

PLAN TO ATTEND a citizen action meeting being sponsored by Public Citizen and the Illinois Food Safety Coalition on Thursday, June 14, 7:00 p.m. in the Sky Room at the Loyola Park Fieldhouse, on the 7100 block of north Sheridan (NE corner of Sheridan and Greenleaf.) We will be discussing ways to get these radiation people out of our food supply!

CALL US. We can help you put together information and discuss the best approaches for fighting food irradiation. Illinois Food Safety Coalition (312) 670-2801



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