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Europe Rejects Food Irradiation Bid

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Europe has won an important food safety victory that Canada should emulate:

The European Parliament has refused to extend the list of irradiated food products within the European Union (EU). Irradiation is a preservation process during which food products are exposed to ionizing radiation to extend shelf-life and kill insects, fungi and some bacteria. The vote passed 214-182 last winter in favour of an amendment stating that no more irradiated foods should be added to the current list of spices, dried herbs and seasonings until adequate scientific evidence proving its safety is conducted.

The European Parliament's stance is important for several reasons. It protects the EU's independence against the long arm of the WHO, which recently endorsed food irradiation in blanket fashion-thereby ignoring 40 years of research indicating health hazards. It's proof that more research on food irradiation is needed. It's an example for other nations currently developing irradiation legislation (including Canada), and it has implications for countries wanting to trade in irradiated foods.

To discover the flaws in the WHO's endorsement, visit citizen.org/documents/BadTaste.pdf, prepared by US-based consumer group Public Citizen.

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