November 25, 2010

Irradiating food. Irradiating people.

Irradiation is a great way to improve food safety:
Bacteria, viruses, and everything else are all sterilized by the radiation. Ionizing radiation is used because it's high energy, and is extremely dangerous to living tissue.... [T]he food coming out the other end — be it bread, milk, meat, fruit, or cheese — is absolutely sterile and, if properly sealed, will last longer on your shelf than virtually anything else in the supermarket....
But Americans are too freaked out by it:
The circular green logo along with the words "Treated with irradiation" are so terrifying to much of the American public that the process has been put virtually out of business. Most Americans would prefer to accept a few E. coli deaths....
Even though there is absolutely no radiation in the food that we would buy:
Food irradiation... does not place radioactive material onto the food. The food is placed in the radiation field, and then it's removed. Run a Geiger counter over it, and it shows zero. Food that's been irradiated is not radioactive.
But we're too scared of this radiation to use it to protect ourselves from the very real bacteria in food that can kill us.

If we're overcautious to the point of irrationality about radiation, why then are we at all willing to let the government irradiate our bodies?
In April, four scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, wrote a public letter to the White House warning that the government may have underestimated the dosage of ionizing radiation delivered to a person's skin from a backscatter machine by one or two orders of magnitude. The scientists, who have expertise in biochemistry, biophysics, oncology, and X-ray crystallography, pointed out that the government's estimate was based on radiation exposure for the entire body. During scanning, the majority of radiation will be focused on the surface of the body, meaning a more concentrated dose of radiation is delivered to the skin....
Ed Nickoloff, professor of radiology at Columbia University and chief hospital physicist at Columbia University Medical Center, says the data isn't yet clear either way. "At this point, until I knew more information, I'd tell people to take the pat-down," he says.
Is it that we are not only irrational, but we are also irrational in our choice of what to be irrational about? I don't think so. Food radiation was something that businesses were permitted to do, but they stopped because we avoided buying the product. The government isn't asking us whether we want our bodies irradiated if we want to travel by plane. It's not like going to the grocery store and picking one package of hamburger instead of another. We still get our hamburger. We don't have a choice of flying with radiation or without radiation. The only choice the government gives us is not to fly or to accept a groping.

85 comments:

Larry J said...

About 4000 Americans die of food poisoning each year and many times that number are sickened by it. Each year, countless thousands more die and are sickened by food poisoning worldwide. Food irradiation is proven safe and would eliminate a high percentage of the deaths and illnesses caused by food poisoning. Rather than risk the remote possibility that somehow someone might possibly be hurt by the effects of food irradiation, we allow the certainty that thousand will die of food poisoning. How stupid is that? The Luddites are spreading lies and fear that kills people and none are ever held accountable for it.

JAY said...

Irradiation has gotten a bad rap by the Luddite left.

They're so "progressive" you know...

Anthony said...

"It's not like going to the grocery store and picking one package of hamburger instead of another. We still get our hamburger."

But when you decide to buy the hamburger that hasn't been irradiated, you're forced to accept a downside: increased risk of food poisoning. At the airport when you decide to not irradiate your body, you accept a downside: the grope. Isn't the analogy the same? If flying is the hamburger, you still get your hamburger and you still get to fly, without irradiation, but you accept a downside.

SteveR said...

Anyone afraid of irradiated food is scientifically ignorant and probably believe Al Gore about AGW. But I repeat myself.

Ann Althouse said...

@Anthony People were picking the food without the irradiation but they can't pick the flight without the irradiation (unless they get groped). You're right that there's no irradiated food to choose now, but that's because the people rejected it in the marketplace. The govt imposed the scanners on us without giving us a chance to go through the selection process. There was no market to prove what people wanted. We were given what we were supposed to want.

HT said...

So Ann for you radiation as it pertains to aviation is primarily about the marketplace and commerce, and not the Constitution?

MrBuddwing said...

Is food irradiation all that it's cracked up to be? Doesn't it kill off the "good" germs as well as the bad? And while there's no danger of the treated food giving off radiation, can we be sure that the irradiation doesn't affect the food in other ways?

(I don't claim to know the answer, I'm just wondering.)

Also, is "treated with irradiation" gramatically correct? Shouldn't it be "treated with radiation" or "treated by irradiation"?

Word verification: cousaut.

Anthony said...

@Ann

That makes sense to me.

edutcher said...

I can't help thinking part of the opposition to irradiated food was a byproduct of the fear campaign ramped up by the Lefties after WWII about how evil the use by the US of Atomic bombs to end the war was.

PS FWIW, Here's a piece, off Insta, about how the airport scanners may not be as safe as Big Sis and The Zero want us to believe.

Imagine that!

WV "brathar" What the hillbilly said when indicating the last garment the woman who went topless cast off.

Blue@9 said...

Doesn't it kill off the "good" germs as well as the bad?

Depends on the food I would think. Irradiating yogurt might be counterproductive, but we don't really gain too many beneficial bacteria from ground beef.

Hagar said...

Nuclear warfare was so revolting to the Left that they have made a very thorough job of scaring the bejeezus out of people at the mere mention of the words "radiation" and "radio-active."
Quite a change from the days when Radium Springs, NM advertised the "curative powers" of the local hot springs!

I had tubercular pleurisy as a child, so for several years I was thoroughly X-rayed at least once a month. Back then, you stood behind the X-ray screen, while the doctor reached around and twisted you this way and that, had you take deep breaths, etc. for a good 5-10 minutes, so according to the popular conception today, I should shortly have shriveled away and died a horrible death at a very young age. I didn't.

The doctors, of course, did get way too much radiation, and most probably wound up with some very nasty skin cancers on their arms. I have seen at least one such doctor, but even he was well up into his seventies.

So, X-rays are certainly something to be careful about, but the fear of the truly miniscule doses one gets from the modern X-ray machines is indeed irrational.

There was an incident some years ago, when the scanners picked up some radiation at the Los Alamos landfill, and they shut the place down and went in with crews in full "moon suits," etc., and the news media in full crisis mode, to search for and recover the dangerous material. It turned out to be kitty litter from a cat being treated for leukemia.

And this was at Los Alamos, where, of any place in the world, you would think they would know better.

But religion trumps science every time, even among scientists.

Big Mike said...

We wouldn't be pumping CO2 into the atmosphere if we used nuclear power, the thousands of people who die from emphysema because they live downwind of coal-fired power plants would still be healthy and alive, and the people who die from food poisoning would still be healthy and alive.

But!

Radiation ba-a-a-a-a-d.

Intelligence is not an attribute of the Left.

Michael Haz said...

E. coli. It's, like, totally organic, man.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Food irradiation is proven safe."

Sez who?

I think you're missing the point of this post, dude. The point is that Americans cannot trust Democrats to be honest with them about the health implications of radiation.

We don't trust Democrats to irradiate our food, and yet, people willingly allow these jackboots at the airport to irradiate them merely because there is a line formed up to get your dosing and signs pointing the way to the gassing, er ... "security checkpoint."

This post is about how rational people can be about some things, and yet how stupid they can be when it comes to giving up basic freedoms.

Democrats have an interest in claiming that radiation scanners at airports are perfectly safe. These fucking Nazis want the planes to run on time.

These are the same Democrats that deliberately infected Guatemalans with syphilis to ... you know ... see what would happen.

Same Democrats lying to you about death panels.

So, pardon me if I don't take your claims at face value.

rhhardin said...

radius -(i)i m. 1. A ray of light. b (emanating from the head or face of a god, hero, etc.) (Oxford Latin Dictionary)

1b is what Obama did to his voters.

Irradiated people.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

By the way, Ann ... you needn't worry about the airport radiation dosing stations.

They've been turned off.

The Obama Administration only cares about airport "security" so long as it doesn't cause the airplanes to be late.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/11/newark_liberty_airport_controv.html

As we said before they turned them on ... these radiation stations are not about security, they're about forcing Americans to submit.

Once we're trained to submit to molestations of our sexual organs by our LGBT government officials ... then the real fun can begin.

Hagar said...

The problem is not that the scanners at the airports may be dangerous, but that they are boneheadedly stupid and seriously offensive.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Things have gone very, very smoothly," said Ann Davis, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration. "Wait times have been kept to a minimum ..."

To hell with security ... the trains must run on time.

The very first thing she talks about when describing "success" is "wait times." It's all about wait times.

Not how many terrorists were caught (none were).

Not how many bombs were sniffed out (none were).

Not how many guns were confiscated (none were).

Not whether bin Laden was caught (he wasn't).

Wait times.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Two questions:

1) Which company makes those airport radiation scanners?

2) How much money has been donated to Democrats by the employees and directors of that company?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Gee...who made this point in a previous comment section about the irrational fear of irradiated food and the idea that we should be all exposed to unknown amounts of actual radiation, all for the sake of political correctness?

Hmmm...let me think...oh yeah...IT WAS ME!!!

Is food irradiation all that it's cracked up to be? Doesn't it kill off the "good" germs as well as the bad? And while there's no danger of the treated food giving off radiation, can we be sure that the irradiation doesn't affect the food in other ways?

There is zero harm or residual radiation in irradiated foods. The irradiation process kills, temporarily, the bacteria that cause food rot and some disease causing bacteria.

If you are going to cook, mash, puree, and other ways alter the food, who cares.

As Althouse said: in the grocery store you can have a choice. Buy the non irradiated tomato or milk or meat and eat it quickly or CHOOSE to purchase the irradiated food.

In the Airport we don't get any choices other than to NOT fly.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"In the Airport we don't get any choices other than to NOT fly."

That's because the aircraft are dangerous to people other than those who are occupying them - as the 9-11 terrorists demonstrated quite convincingly.

It's not really intellectually honest to suggest an equivalency.

Look, people are not opposed to airport radiation machines because of "choice."

People are opposed to them because it's fucking retarded. Why are we spending precious time and money strip-searching 4-year-old American girls and boys who pose absolutely no threat whatsoever?

It's fucking dumb, and the product of Democrat Party PC bullshit. Waste. Of. Money.

Barack Obama could find Osama bin Laden in a week if he put 60,000 fucking people on the task.

Instead, he's feeling up kids at airports.

Fucking sicko.

former law student said...

Recalls of hot dogs and lunch meats (for Listeria) show that any food not thoroughly cooked right before serving can give you food poisoning. And even thorough cooking cannot break down all toxins. So irradiated food serves only to lure the public into a false sense of security.

Consider though: If irradiated food was so groovy, why is the military not ordering irradiated MREs?

former law student said...

Why are we spending precious time and money strip-searching 4-year-old American girls and boys who pose absolutely no threat whatsoever?

Because if we don't some terrorist will shove a bomb up a four-year-old's butt.

Do you not recall the 70s, when the blonde girlfriends of Palestinian sympathizers boarded European planes with bombs?

Hagar said...

New "Hussein" Ham,

Wrong again. People being people, the TSA every day confiscate real guns, knives, and other weapons in addition to the masses of nail clippers, shampoo bottles, etc., that our fearlessssssssss Gov't authorities have proscribed from carry-on luggage. There was quite a display of this put on the evening news a couple of evenings ago.

Also, there are the things they still do not catch; like the "two 12" long razorblades in a cardboard cylinder" the guy from "Mythbusters" claims he stuck in his coatpocket and carried through the scanners a few days ago.

You do have a point about the manufacturer(s) of these scanners. That industry was on its toes, smelled opportunity, and lobbied heavily to get the contracts and charge outrageous prices for them.

Now we have a situation where we cannot get rid of them without making a lot of politicians and Government bureaucrats admit they screwed up (again). It's not going to be easy.

Maguro said...

Consider though: If irradiated food was so groovy, why is the military not ordering irradiated MREs?



Why not indeed. MREs are already dehydrated, preserved and chemically treated to the point where they last for years on the shelf but are barely recognizable as food. Irradiation might allow them to ease up on the preservatives and improve the taste a bit.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Because if we don't some terrorist will shove a bomb up a four-year-old's butt."

No they won't (you're reaching, dude).

And even if terrorists tried that, these scanners could not detect it. They don't penetrate skin. These are non-penetrating scans. They would only detect bombs outside a body.

4-year-old American girls with bombs up their asses didn't fly aircraft into the World Trade Center.

Muslims did that.

Let's spend our time and resources preventing Muslims from doing that instead of feeling up our own children.

(Keep in mind: Abdullahmuttab - The Underwear Bomber - was reported to US authorities and was on the TIDE list of known terrorists BEFORE he was allowed on an aircraft with a bomb without being patted down. He had a valid travel visa issued by Hillary Clinton over at the State Department.)

Hagar said...

What makes you think MRE's aren't irradiated?

I point to the hysteria about the well advertised proposals to carry low-level radioactive waste, i.e. labcoats, rubber shoes and gloves, etc. to permanent storage facilities, but you never hear anything about how actual nuclear bomb materials travel around the country, do you?

Think about it. The stuff does not spontaneously form itself into nuclear devices and materialize inside B-2 bomb bays!

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Because if we don't some terrorist will shove a bomb up a four-year-old's butt."

And not for nothing law student, but if you're going to press a case, you should spend some time doing some basic research on the technology before making such a ridiculous and easily disproven argument.

This is an important topic. You need to spend some time preparing to debate this topic with some authority.

Don't be so lazy.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Do you not recall the 70s, when the blonde girlfriends of Palestinian sympathizers boarded European planes with bombs?"

Yes, I recall that.

Why did your buddy Barack Obama give the Palestinians $400 million in US tax dollars when they're clearly known terrorists?

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=TX-PAR-BXL96

I think it's because Obama has an affinity for terrorists, seeing as how he's funding them.

Hagar said...

And Chechnyan ladies - who really are "Caucasian" - did so not so long ago, and probably will again. The Chechnyan revolt is not over.

former law student said...

Let's spend our time and resources preventing Muslims from doing that instead of feeling up our own children.

Preparing for the last war worked so well for 1940's France, which withstood the Nazi onslaught for, what, six weeks?

former law student said...

Why did your buddy Barack Obama give the Palestinians $400 million in US tax dollars when they're clearly known terrorists?

Even if all A were B, we cannot infer that all B was A. In this case, only some A are B.

JAY said...

If irradiated food was so groovy, why is the military not ordering irradiated MREs?

Who says they are not?

Irradiated foods are used in space.

Cedarford said...

THe matter is obfusticated somewhat by two things:

1. People who want to fly get a radiation dose in a single flight 30-100 times that of airport scanners by being permitted to step on a plane. The legal or moral argument about "choice" sort of collapses on that. If you wish to have "individual autonomy" against any radiation dose you can avoid, don't live in Denver, don't live in New England, the Rockies, (high uranium in granite) - or in Florida (high K-40 in soil). And don't fly.

2. I think the irradiation practice is safe, but it has had a problem - not just here but world wide with governments and consumers justly wary irradiation will tempt food suppliers to abandon or shortcut other food safety to 'take care of e-coli ridden spinach, salmonella infested chicken grown and raised and processed in filth with one good Zap'.
And cheat customers that place a premium on fresh by presenting two month old irradiated "fresh veggies" as picked just days earlier.

That said, the beefs about "lowered nutritional value" are specious. Most prep "lowers nutritional value" - cooking, canning, even freezing. And you have to weigh that against spoilage. What is the nutritional value of a flat of strawberries that were irradiated 10 days earlier? 95% of picked right in the field. What is the value of a flat of strawberries thrown out after 10 days because it is spoiled and moldy? Zero.
(And you also have to say that Americans get a surplus of essential nutrients. So "losing" 5% of the niacin in a zapped cataloupe when you already get 318% of the RDA of niacin needed in a diet is no loss.

And there is no reason why food not though of as "fresh or else" cannot one day benefit everyone from radiation treatment - you have a sack of potatos kept for months - gain two more months from a 30 Sievert irradiation that delays or stops sprouting - you have more efficient use and storage of the potato crop.
And in canning - you just cannot get true fresh sauce, fresh meat, vegetable flavor in most cases because cooking at high temp for sterilization alters too many chemical components. But quick parboiling then 500 Sieverts of high energy radiation might substitute - except that there are liability issues with cans self -shielding, certain bugs and fungus that might outlive what kills 99.99% of what is there. Fear of radiation-resistant strains developing...
More work needed.

Cedarford said...

FLS - "Consider though: If irradiated food was so groovy, why is the military not ordering irradiated MREs?"

I've been at Ft Natick, Massachusetts Ready Soldier Command specifically to look at MREs and talk to scientists there after they wanted to examine some 40 year old supplies located at an AFB and test them to see how 40 years impacted them.
The applesauce was trashed. Some things were still perfect. So don't go for 40-year old applesauce if civilization collapses and you are foraging in ruins for something to eat in areas outside what China-Wall Street control.

Part of the conversation was about quality improvements. Irradiation was part of that. But the military has other factors - safety, portability, soldier acceptance, calories and nutrition guaranteed to be dispensed per serving.
Some stuff is freeze dried, others flash-cooked, others "soaked" at high temperature for several hours until they do not resemble the tasty tamales they started out as.

The irradiation question is political there too. There is reluctance by soldiers to be used as guinea pigs for food the US public has not yet embraced, and high reluctance by Congress to fund a food line that uses the "Heroes" as guinea pigs and might cause political blowback at home.

I saw some Russian, German Bundeswher, and Chinese samples there of their counterparts. The others don't use it as well. The Russians have the same bad tasting crap they had in the 50s, sterilized and cooked to shit safe and robust MRE- but the Russians don't really put too much stock in soldier acceptance. Germans had almost anything in cans because they all planned for German soldiers to have short logistics lines and weight was no concern. Baked bread in a can, which I was told was delicious.
The Chinese had (and I'm sure their variety vastly exceeded what Ft Natick had procured) - a sort of instant rice, some freeze dried fish, meat, veggies..and all sorts of pickled stuff in square cans.

Alex said...

If we don't molest everyone, AQ will shove up a bomb up a nun's ass.

Alex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DADvocate said...

There's some irony here somewhere. The "stupid" people don't want irradiated food because they don't trust what the government tells them. Plenty of anecdotal evidence is available to aupport that belief.

Lots of "smart" people support being irradiated at the airport because they believe the government claims that they must do this to protect us from 3 foot tall, toddler terrorists. And, of course, more effective, practical methods can't be used because it would not be PC.

The few times I saw irradiated food in my primary grocery store, it cost more. My budget is fairly tight and I believe I know how to properly cook and store food. Thus, I bought the less expensive alternative.

HT said...

Lots of "smart" people support being irradiated at the airport because they believe the government claims that they must do this to protect us from 3 foot tall, toddler terrorists. And, of course, more effective, practical methods can't be used because it would not be PC.

___

But do you seriously think no one is profiling? My gut tells me that people are. Maybe I'm wrong...

DADvocate said...

But do you seriously think no one is profiling?

I certainly hope they are. It's a logical thing to do, more so than frisking toddlers. Nothing's perfect. But as others have mentioned, how many terrorists have the TSA stopped?

JAY said...

will tempt food suppliers to abandon or shortcut other food safety to 'take care of e-coli ridden spinach, salmonella infested chicken grown and raised and processed in filth with one good Zap'.

Laugh out loud funny.

I love how you leftists always think the worst of corporations.

Its cute.

AST said...

Old news. Americans are just too ignorant to protect sometimes.

That's why I believe that the key value of America is independence, not freedom, and we either never understood that or forgotten it.

roesch-voltaire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JAL said...

Nice catch Professor.

Food irradiation would save a bunch more lives than full body scans and /or groping.

wv "untst!"
The sound sometimes heard during a full body grope.

In violation of the 4th Amendment.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Also, there are the things they still do not catch; like the "two 12" long razorblades in a cardboard cylinder" the guy from "Mythbusters" claims he stuck in his coatpocket and carried through the scanners a few days ago.

Did you see somewhere that he claimed they were in his coat pocket as he went through the scanner? I saw the video, and he never mentions that where he had them. He mentions that he usually empties his laptop case before a flight, but he didn't this time, so I assume that the blades were in his laptop case.

The Crack Emcee said...

That's nothing:

You ought to see the way the French freak out over our so-called "Frankenfood".

Julius said...

In capitalism, sometimes you can offer a superior product that the market is just not ready for. That's your fault as a business; don't try to get off the hook by blaming the consumer.

In this situation, I think people want to hang onto the notion that their food is safe because it comes from a nearby farm, having been grown and possibly processed with the utmost care by knowledgeable and cautious people. There just no way old-fashioned locally-grown good could be dangerous.

Even if people realize that this is not the way it is, they still think that's the way it should be. If they start buying irradiated food then they're giving up on the dream. The dream is worth something.

This leaves food producers who know better about irradiated food with two choices:

1. Develop and execute a marketing campaign that effectively changes public perception.

2. Call up the lobbyists and make the case to Washington instead of to the public. Have our national ruling class make a law that all food must be irradiated.

Which one do you think they'll choose? Hint: Which is cheaper? (Consider the cost savings of having to only lobby one central government in one city, not 50 separate state governments...)

roesch-voltaire said...

Cedarford thanks for the informed discussion on the topic. New Hussain concerning 1) Which company makes those airport radiation scanner, I thought by now you would have realized the Chernoff's company makes and promotes those scanners, that's right a Republican from the Bush administration- As for irradiating food, it is necessary if you support argi- biz style feed lots and eat hamburger meat that has six different sources, but not so necessary if you buy local grass fed beef.

HT said...

Ah, how soothing the voice of reason. Thank you r-v.

T J Sawyer said...

Irradiated food is safe. The problem is that most people would have had to accept the governments authoritative word that it was so when irradiation was becoming viable in the 1980s.

Many people at that time recalled the assurances that above-ground nuclear testing in Nevada was safe during the 1950s. O sure, there were those dead sheep, cattle losing their hair and an awful lot of cancer in Utah, but it is safe.

I am simply amazed at the acceptance of the scanners. But I guess youth will always accept governmental assurance. Bring us more hope and change!

jr565 said...

But we're too scared of this radiation to use it to protect ourselves from the very real bacteria in food that can kill us.

If we're overcautious to the point of irrationality about radiation, why then are we at all willing to let the government irradiate our bodies?


Because maybe the notion that the govt is radiating our bodies with the scanners is as unfounded as irradiating food causing problems with food?
isn't the point Ann is making that we are overcautious (and shouldn't be) about irradiated food?So then why give into irrational fear about the scanners (unless of course it can be shown that the scanners ARE dangerous of course). And maybe passengers worried about the radiation of scanners, might also be worried about the radiation of flight, which was there before the scanners were even proposed.
Meaning, if you're going to worry about the sanners and incidental radiation, you've already got good enough reasons to not fly to begin with.

jr565 said...

Also, don't use bandaids, if you're afraid of radiation, because radiation is used in the sterilization process.

bagoh20 said...

"but not so necessary if you buy local grass fed beef. "

But grass fed beef takes months longer to grow to slaughter weight, resulting in much more global warming gas production.

Being good is so hard, I don't know why anyone wants to be the teachers pet anyway.

jr565 said...

New Hussein Ham wrote:
4-year-old American girls with bombs up their asses didn't fly aircraft into the World Trade Center.

Muslims did that.

Let's spend our time and resources preventing Muslims from doing that instead of feeling up our own children.

Well, muslims didn't stick bombs up 4 year olds asses either. But htat begs the question, does that mean you are ok with feeling up children, so long as they are muslim?

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"I thought by now you would have realized the Chernoff's company makes and promotes those scanners, that's right a Republican from the Bush administration"

Really? You almost sound as if you believe that shit.

In reality, these systems are made by Democrat Party guru Deepak Chopra.

He is the Chairman and CEO of OSI Systems, which manufactures the RapidScan Secure 1000 - the scanning device purchased on a no-bid contract by the Transportation Security Administration and in use in 70 airports in the United States.

http://investors.osi-systems.com/management.cfm

Here is Mr. Chopra's history of Democrat Party donations at opensecrets.org

http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/search.php?name=chopra%2C+deepak&state=&zip=&employ=&cand=&all=Y&sort=N&capcode=8jrht&submit=Submit

He is one of the Democrat Party's largest donors.

This is his payoff for the campaign donation bribes he has given to the Democrat Party and both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

He and his employees ONLY donate to Democrats:

http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/search.php?name=&state=&zip=&employ=OSI&cand=&all=Y&sort=N&capcode=xjphc&submit=Submit

HT said...

There is no Democrat Party.

former law student said...

The Deepak Chopra who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronics and a Master of Science degree in Semiconductor Electronics from Punjab Engineering College in Chandigarh, Punjab, India and a Master of Science degree in Semiconductor Electronics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst is a Democratic Party guru?

former law student said...

Over the past dozen years, the Deepak Chopra of OSI Systems gave $500 to Republican Steve Kuykendall, along with $2300 to Barack Obama, $1,000 to Patty Murray, $1500 to Silvestre Reyes, and $1000 to David Price.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

" ... is a Democratic Party guru?"

Yes, he's one of their rock star donors and a master bundler of campaign donation bribes.

His few donations to Republican turncoats are mere fig leafs designed to provide the sheen of bi-partisanship where none actually exists.

He bribes Democrats because most Republicans refuse his donations as they're patently quid pro quo.

The man should be arrested and deported for corrupting our government so thoroughly. His company should be confiscated by the Treasury and our money returned to the people of the United States.

DADvocate said...

That's why I believe that the key value of America is independence, not freedom,...

Pitiful. Communist Russia, China, North Korea, and many other countries throughout history with horribly oppressive and murderous governments were/are independent. (I worked very hard to avoid violating Godwin's Law. Get the idea?) You'd think an attorney would have much better insight.

Ari Tai said...

Remember that in the early 20th century building codes prohibited attached garages because autos leaked and other mishandling of gasoline led to occasional horrific fires, similar to earlier problems with kerosene lamps until Rockefeller improved kerosene refining and put his competitors out of business by observing "you can trust the red can" (not to burn your house down - which led to Ms. Tarbell and her attacks on all but the actual reason why her parents’ non-science-based oil business lost all their customers).

A given unit of gasoline has twice the energy - explosive power of our best high explosive (mostly because it draws half of its combustion mass from oxygen in the air). A pity we've not yet become as insensitive to all things nuclear - escaped from today’s equivalent of the primitive fear of thunder and lightning.

Curiously this is one behavior we could adopt from Europe – they’ve irradiated most food and used nuclear power for closing on a half-a-century – France supplies most of its electrical power from burning neutrons, and sells as much again to the rest of Europe – a net trade surplus for France of 5B$-10B$ per year).

Larry J said...

"Food irradiation is proven safe."

Sez who?


NASA for one and the FDA for another. NASA has used the technology since the 1970s to prepare food for long duration space missions. Irradiated food doesn't require refrigeration and being sterile, is far less likely to make someone sick.

1920s: French scientists discover that irradiation preserves foods.

1963: Irradiation is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to control insects in wheat and wheat powder. Although irradiation was not used in the United States at this time, 400,000 tons of wheat per year was irradiated in the Ukraine to kill insects.

1964: This is the first time irradiation was used in the United States. The FDA approves irradiation to extend the shelf life of white potatoes.

1970s: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) adopts irradiation to sterilize meat for astronauts to eat in space. Irradiation is still used by NASA today.

1997: Red meat is approved for irradiation by the FDA, making it the most recent food to be approved. Irradiation is used to control pathogens, such as E. coli, Salmonella species, parasites, and to extend the shelf life of meat, including beef, veal, lamb, and pork.

2000: The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) approves the irradiation of beef.

Christy said...

If you've granite countertops, you may already be irradiating your food.

I'd be happy if they'd just irradiate strawberries. I love strawberries.

RuyDiaz said...

"There is reluctance by soldiers to be used as guinea pigs for food the US public has not yet embraced, and high reluctance by Congress to fund a food line that uses the "Heroes" as guinea pigs and might cause political blowback at home."

Sigh. It is not that there is no evidence that irradiated food is dangerous--it is that THERE IS NO KNOWN MECHANISM by which irradiated food could be dangerous. The radiation used is high energy gamma rays. Unless the gamma ray photons stop in the food and wait for you to open the food, and then launch themselves in your general direction, you receive no radiation whatsoever.

Tom Perkins said...

Since food that has been harmlessly irradiated must be marked as such, why shouldn't the TSA be forced to hand out stickers everyone going through the scanners has to wear for 24 hours?

At the very least, the scanner themselves should prominently show the radiation logo.

Joseph said...

Many people at that time recalled the assurances that above-ground nuclear testing in Nevada was safe during the 1950s. O sure, there were those dead sheep, cattle losing their hair and an awful lot of cancer in Utah, but it is safe.

Don't people in the Rocky Mountains area have a below-average cancer mortality rate?

roesch-voltaire said...

Huss just for historical accuracy in all your rhetoric:
Michael Chernoff, while head of Homeland Security, approved the use and FUNDING of full body scanners to Rapiscan Systems, a
manufacturer of this technology. Rapiscan Systems is now a client of Michael Chernoff’s security consulting firm, the Chertoff Group.

Freeman Hunt said...

I wish all of my food was irradiated. If that appeared on a food label, I would be more likely to buy it.

I am not, however, flying until the nudie pic versus grope choice is eliminated.

The Crack Emcee said...

These systems are made by Democrat Party guru Deepak Chopra.

I told you this, days ago, asking if he and Deep Ack Oprah were the same guy.

Original Mike said...

"As for irradiating food, it is necessary if you support argi- biz style feed lots and eat hamburger meat that has six different sources, but not so necessary if you buy local grass fed beef."

Oh, Lordy! What in the world does "grass fed" have to do with it?

Original Mike said...

There is a simple solution to getting irradiated food into the marketplace. Don't label it. I'm serious. It is safe. Why does it need a label?

Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...

New "Hussein" Ham:

My Dad (PhD Food Science) worked with the men who developed food irradiation. It was originally developed for the US. Army at a lab in Natick Massachusetts as a means of not losing troops due to food poisoning (or forcing them to eat nothing but MRE's).

Food irradiation does two things: It kills bacteria and it breaks down lysosomal enzymes that cause proteins to turn into amino acids. Irradiation can give beef near unlimited shelf life (if vacuum sealed in a package).

The hard part was finding the right dose of gamma rays that would kill the bacteria but not effect the flavor. If you stop the lysosomal activity, the meat won't tenderize and flavor properly (aging).

This was over 40 years ago. 40 years without hurting anyone. Food irradiation can also be used to give extended shelf life to fruit and vegetables. How much would the fortunes of the world be improved if fresh fruit and veggies could have their shelf life extended for months? How much money would be saved by not throwing away rotten produce?

The Federal govt. should and must embrace food irradiation.

former law student said...

Many people at that time recalled the assurances that above-ground nuclear testing in Nevada was safe during the 1950s. O sure, there were those dead sheep, cattle losing their hair and an awful lot of cancer in Utah, but it is safe.

Don't people in the Rocky Mountains area have a below-average cancer mortality rate?


The set of "Downwinders" does not map into the set of "Rocky Mountain dwellers."

Just anecdotally, my friend who grew up near St. George, Utah, did not survive her third bout with Hodgkins disease, passing away in her early 50s.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

@Larry J

"Sez who?"

So, what you seem to be telling me is that NASA (a Democrat Party controlled organization) and the FDA (a Democrat Party controlled organization) both tell us that what they want to do is safe.

This is the exact same Democrat Party that injected Guatemalans secretly with syphilis to see what would happen to them. Same Democrat Party that embraced Eugenics.

And you want us to just trust them, eh? With appeals to authority as your cited evidence?

You're not very scientifically-minded are you?

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"40 years without hurting anyone."

You're not serious, are you?

The U.S. Army Lab in Natick, Massachusetts has been named a Superfund cleanup site by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

"Soil, groundwater, and surface water are contaminated with various VOCs, naphthalene, Freon 113, and a variety of heavy metals such as barium, mercury, arsenic, copper, chromium, lead, and zinc have been found in various investigations. Contamination may threaten several municipal well fields. Contamination also may threaten Lake Cochituate, which borders the site on the east. People who ingest or come into contact with contaminated soil or groundwater may be at risk. In addition, the State issued a public health fish consumption advisory for lake Chochituate (sic) in May of 1996.

Yep, all sounds perfectly safe doesn't it? Not hurting anybody, are they?

http://cfpub.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/csitinfo.cfm?id=0101831

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"It is safe. Why does it need a label?"

So that people can make an informed choice with their purchasing power.

If it is safe ... then why do you want to hide the fact that this food has been deliberately exposed to unnatural levels of radiation as a means primarily to boost corporate profits?

Can you think of any other things that the government once said were safe, but then later on they turned out not to be?

I'll give you a moment to consider history.

Original Mike said...

"So that people can make an informed choice with their purchasing power."

People can make an informed choice? You mean the same people who can't pass a 12th grade science exam being "informed" by journalists who can't pass a 9th grade science exam?

That's the problem. And the solution is for government agencies to find some balls decide: safe, not safe, or maybe safe. Not safe is prohibited. Maybe safe is labeled. Safe does not require a label.

Or, if you insist on labels, do this. Meat, to use an example, must have one of two labels, of equal size and prominence. One says "This food has not been irradiated and here's what can happen to you: (list of potential risks)". The other says "This food has been irradiated and here's what can happen to you: Nothing"

THAT would be informing the public.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"You mean the same people who can't pass a 12th grade science exam being "informed" by journalists who can't pass a 9th grade science exam?"

I see ... the people are too stupid to handle the truth, so we should hide it from them for their own good.

Is that it?

Sounds like fairly typical Democrat Party reasoning to me.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Thalidomide ... perfectly safe says the FDA.

Until ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thalidomide#History

In fact, the United States government proclaimed every single one of these drugs safe ... until they were not safe:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_withdrawn_drugs

Just because the government says it is safe does not make it so. Thus, appeals to authority invoking a "government seal of approval" are meaningless.

Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...

New "Hussein" Ham:

What on earth does any of those contaminates have to do with food irradiation? For gamma irradiation, Cobalt 60 is used and sometimes Cesium 137. Neither of which is on the list you posted. Your response was a complete non-sequitur.

Original Mike said...

"I see ... the people are too stupid to handle the truth,"

And the mechanism by which the people receive the truth is what?

Larry J said...

"Sez who?"

So, what you seem to be telling me is that NASA (a Democrat Party controlled organization) and the FDA (a Democrat Party controlled organization) both tell us that what they want to do is safe.

This is the exact same Democrat Party that injected Guatemalans secretly with syphilis to see what would happen to them. Same Democrat Party that embraced Eugenics.

And you want us to just trust them, eh? With appeals to authority as your cited evidence?

You're not very scientifically-minded are you?


You are a moron, right? NASA started using irradiated food in the 1970s (hint: Nixon and Ford were president then) because it was safer for the astronauts and didn't require refrigeration. Based on your stupid fears, you're willing to let thousands of people to keep dying of food poisoning because somehow, some way you think irradiated food might be dangerous despite decades of evidence against you. Your use of stupid political claims on a scientific subject suggest you're scientifically illiterate.

You're not serious, are you?

The U.S. Army Lab in Natick, Massachusetts has been named a Superfund cleanup site by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.


And what does that have to do with exposing food to gamma ray radiation under controlled conditions? Nothing. The food is exposed to radiation but does not become radioactive.

Christy said...

Give up the debate, guys. Half of American adults buy lottery tickets. Clearly risk assessment is not part of our skill set. At the same time we are incredibly risk averse. go figure.

Richard Fagin said...

Hagar, it's worse than you think. An entire class of medical procedures had to be renamed from its more scientifically accurate one(nuclear magnetic resonance imaging) to a less scary "magnetic resonance imaging" because the word "nuclear" is so frightening to the public. Makes me want to scream STFU! to anyone that uses the term "nuke" to describe heating in a microwave oven.

I usually respect the wisdom of crowds, but on this subject not so much.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

The TSA doesn't make it too obvious what you're doing. The L-3 scanner says something about 'millimeter..' They had it at one gate pod entrance to the San Francisco Departure area Sunday, not at others. You weren't given information there as to an alternative inspection mechanism though some appeared to have declined and were patted down. Is L-3 the brand of the irradiating scanners or one of them?