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Food Irradiation Facilities

Learn about and take action on the food irradiation facility planned to be built in Honolulu, Hawaii!

Find out about actions that took place during the Global Week of Action Against Food Irradiation!

An important yet often overlooked part of the issue of food irradiation is the facilities themselves. There are approximately 50 irradiation facilities in the country, many of which irradiate food, including spices, beef, chicken, fruit and vegetables. Many of them also irradiate medical supplies. Irradiation exposes food to ionizing radiation using one of three sources: gamma rays (produced by Cesium 137 or Cobalt 60), X-rays and electron beams (or "e-beam"). Whether the ionizing radiation comes from radioactive materials or linear accelerators, its effect on food is the same; the only difference is how the radiation is produced.

About 30 countries (about 1/7 of existing countries in the world) have irradiation facilities -- Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Syria, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA and Yugoslavia. About 50 countries have legalized irradiation for some foods. Click here for a listing. Most of these countries have under 5 facilities according to the IAEA (the exceptions are France, which has 8, and South Africa, which has 5).

    » cmep | foodsafety | food irrad | facilities

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