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    Spinach, Lettuce Can Be Zapped to Kill Germs in U.S.

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    sang_garuda
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    Spinach, Lettuce Can Be Zapped to Kill Germs in U.S.

    Post by sang_garuda on Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:33 am

    Fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce can be zapped with ionizing radiation to kill germs and extend shelf life under a new rule from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

    The rule, which takes effect tomorrow, follows a 2000 petition from the National Food Processors Association on behalf of the Food Irradiation Coalition, according to a notice posted today on the FDA's Web site. The groups initially asked for permission to use the process in a variety of ready-to-eat foods, and narrowed the request in December to get a quicker response, the agency said.

    Radiation treatment may help reduce the number of illnesses caused by tainted spinach and lettuce, including three outbreaks in 2006 that sickened hundreds of people, FDA said. The process has already been approved to prevent germs in eggs, spices, meat and poultry. Critics say it causes chemical changes that may harm the body and doesn't address the root cause of contamination.

    ``We don't like people relying on irradiation as a food- safety tool,'' said Patty Lovera, assistant director of the Washington-based consumer group Food & Water Watch, in a phone interview today. ``It's kind of an after-the-fact silver bullet attempt to deal with contamination that should be prevented.''

    The FDA has been expanding approvals of food irradiation. Smaller doses of radiation have been allowed on fruits and vegetables for the past two decades to ward off pests, though it hasn't been common in spinach and lettuce, Lovera said. The new rule raises the approved level of radiation and allows zapping of packaged greens.

    Required Label

    A 2000 report by the Government Accountability Office found that 9.5 percent of spices and 1.5 percent of fruits and vegetables were irradiated. All irradiated foods have been required to carry a label to that effect since 1986, though the FDA has proposed relaxed packaging rules for foods whose appearance isn't changed by radiation.

    ``Based on the totality of the evidence, FDA concludes that irradiation of iceberg lettuce and spinach under the conditions proposed in this petition does not present a toxicological hazard,'' the agency said in its notice today.

    The National Food Processors Association is now part of the Grocery Manufacturers Association in Washington. The FDA is still reviewing the organization's request to expand radiation for other ready-to-eat foods, though spinach and lettuce were the highest priority after food-poisoning outbreaks, said Bob Brackett, the group's chief science officer.

    ``This is probably the single biggest improvement in the safety of fresh produce that we've seen in a long time and we're very, very happy about it,'' Brackett said in a phone interview today. ``This is not an alternative for sanitary and safe handling and good agricultural practices. This is just one more tool to assure the safety of the final product.''

    Brackett said he expects the use of irradiation to start soon on a small scale and expand as it gains consumer acceptance.


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    Re: Spinach, Lettuce Can Be Zapped to Kill Germs in U.S.

    Post by +loudest-scream+ on Sun Aug 31, 2008 8:34 am

    Thnx 4 Letting Us Knw Abt This........

    rk12
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    Re: Spinach, Lettuce Can Be Zapped to Kill Germs in U.S.

    Post by rk12 on Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:36 pm

    good info

    id_666
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    Re: Spinach, Lettuce Can Be Zapped to Kill Germs in U.S.

    Post by id_666 on Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:07 pm

    Thanks to informing us. Ya..Nice post.
    It so useful for us...Thanks.
    ** regards **

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