Do you know this symbol? If you saw this symbol on a food item – pet or people food – what would you think it to mean? Please post a comment of what you first thought was to its meaning. This is an experiment to see how many people know this International Symbol.
With the recent deaths of cats in Australia suspect to be caused by the irradiation of cat food, do you ever wonder if your pet’s food (or your food) is irradiated? Consumers can look for the RADURA logo on the label to know if a food has been treated with radiation.
The RADURA logo; such an innocent sweet looking symbol. Most would never guess this innocent looking flower on a food label would mean the food was treated with radiation. According to Wikipedia, the RADURA logo originally came from the former Pilot Plant for Food Irradiation in the Netherlands. The word RADURA is derived from radurization, in itself an artificial word combining the initial letters of the word “radiation” with the stem of “durus”, the Latin word for hard, lasting. Today it is considered the international symbol indicating a food product has been irradiated. It is usually green; with dashed lines at the top, a plant in the circle.
Opponents to food irradiation feel the RADURA logo is ‘too positive’; the FDA disagrees. In a 1992 New York Times article, Dr. Ronald Engel of the FDA stated “It was meant to be kind of like a smiley face, so people would recognize irradiated food and want it.”
While the FDA firmly endorses the use of irradiation and the smiley face RADURA logo, Europe does not. “The European Community does not provide for the use of the RADURA logo and relies exclusively on labeling by the appropriate phrases in the respective languages of the Member States. Furthermore, irradiated ingredients have to be labeled even down to the last molecule contained in the final product; it is also required that restaurant food is labeled according to the same rule.” No information of irradiated foods in restaurants is provided to consumers in the United States.
Controversy continues to surround food irradiation; many experts believe the irradiation alters chemical compounds within the foods, which in turn could lead to an adverse reaction such as with the sick cats in Australia. The smiley face RADURA logo doesn’t seem to give the controversy justice.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
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