Download The Economist - 02 April 2011 by John Micklethwait (Editor) PDF

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By John Micklethwait (Editor)

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International Consultative Group on Food Irradiation Policy Document, Vienna. , Gray, R. and Pearce, J. (1996). “Detection Methods for Irradiated Foods – Current Status”. Proceedings of an International Meeting on Analytical Detection Methods for Irradiation Treatment of Foods, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 20-24 June 1994. Published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK. ICGFI (1999). “Consumer Attitudes and Market Response to Irradiated Food”. International Consultative Group on Food Irradiation Policy Document, Vienna.

Besides feeding tests using laboratory animals, have there been any human feeding studies of irradiated foods? YES. In the early 1980s, eight feeding studies using several irradiated food items, including irradiated wheat, were conducted in China using human volunteers. More than 400 individuals consumed irradiated food under controlled conditions for 7 to 15 weeks. One focus of the research was the possibility of chromosomal changes. Seven of the eight experiments involved investigation of chromosomal aberrations in 382 individuals.

In fact, some studies have even shown a consumer willingness to pay a premium price for irradiated products. Consumers indicate that endorse- 38 / Facts about food irradiation ments by a respected health authority increase their confidence in the safety of this technology. A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funded project in California and Indiana evaluated the impact of a brief educational programme on community leaders’ attitudes to and knowledge of food irradiation. After viewing a 10-minute video on food irradiation, those likely to try irradiated food increased from 57% to 83%.

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