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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
-- 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.