Food Irradiation?

Food & Water Action Alert:  Hormel Foods Considers Irradiation 

Hormel Foods recently attended a pro-irradiation symposium in 
Austin, Texas. Concerned that Hormel's attendance might indicate 
that the company supported irradiation, Food & Water asked Hormel 
whether or not the corporation intended to pursue the technology. 
But Hormel refused to reveal the corporation's policy regarding food 

Since that time, Hormel has said that, although it does not currently 
expose its products to radiation, it might consider using irradiation if 
consumers would accept the technology and if the company decided 
that irradiation would make its products "safer." 

Hormel is one of the largest food processors in the United States. If 
Hormel condones food irradiation and decides to use the technology, 
the doors will be open for a wide range of food processors, from 
fruits and vegetables to meat and poultry, to "follow the leader" and 
expose their foods to irradiation as well. Now is the time for  
everyone concerned about food irradiation to take action.

-- Call Hormel at 1-800-533-2000, extension 5269.

-- Let their corporate representative know that you are aware of the 
dangers associated with food irradiation. 

-- Tell them that you will only support companies that give 
assurance that they will not knowingly expose their products to 

-- Ask them for a promise that Hormel Foods will not expose their 
customers to the unnecessary risks of food irradiation. 

-- Tell the corporate representative that you will not be satisfied 
until you see an official Hormel policy rejecting irradiation. Tell them 
you know that Hormel Foods, as a leader in the food industry, has the 
ability to ensure that the company will not use irradiation in the 

-- If Hormel responds to your call with unusual comments that you 
think we should know about, call us at 1-800-EAT-SAFE and let us 
know. We'll pass the information on to future callers.

The Problems with Food Irradiation

-- Food irradiation exposes food to the equivalent of 30 million chest 

-- Irradiation creates new chemicals in foods called radiolytic 
products. Some of these products are known cancer-causing 
substances (like benzene in irradiated beef). Others are unique to the 
irradiation process and no one knows what effects these have on 
human health.

-- Irradiation destroys essential vitamins and nutrients that are 
naturally present in food. No studies have been done to show that a 
long-term diet of irradiated foods is safe. Safer, well-tested 
alternatives to irradiation exist.

-- Irradiation plants pose environmental threats to workers and 
surrounding communities. The transportation of nuclear materials to 
irradiation facilities also poses severe public health risks.

For information about Food & Water, or for hard copies of this Action 
Alert, call us at 1-800-EAT-SAFE.