Irradiated pet food ingredients; at no extra charge. Federal regulations will soon allow irradiation to destroy nutritional content of pet food poultry ingredients. Despite the scientific fact that irradiation does NOT kill all bacteria, and despite the scientific fact that irradiation alters the nutritional content of food, the FDA is accepting the petition submitted by a food irradiation company and is changing the law.
A petition filed with the FDA in February 2012 by “Sadex Corp.” has resulted in the FDA amending the regulations for irradiation of animal feed and pet food “to provide for the safe use of electron bean and x-ray sources for irradiation of poultry feed and poultry feed ingredients.”
(Corporations) Ask and You Shall Receive
Sadex Corporation is a Texas-based corporation operating an electron beam (“e-beam”) irradiation or “cold pasteurization” facility in Sioux City, Iowa asked FDA, and they received what they asked for…approval to begin irradiation of poultry feed and poultry pet food ingredients (such as chicken, chicken meal, and so on).
(Consumers) Forget About It
A similar petition filed by pet food consumers, submitted to FDA in July 2010 requested that FDA enforce federal food safety law with pet foods/treats. This petition received a completely opposite response from FDA. Almost 3 years later, this consumer petition continues to be ignored by FDA. Instead of actually enforcing food safety law as it is written (which was addressed in our petition), the FDA continues to provide pet food manufacturers loopholes (known as Compliance Policies) to by-pass federal food safety law.
Fact: Irradiation does NOT kill all bacteria.
From Duke University “Does irradiation destroy all bacteria, resulting in a sterile product?
No. Irradiation pasteurizes food by using energy, just as milk is pasteurized using heat. At the level used, most harmful bacteria will be destroyed. Afterwards, surviving bacteria could start to multiply if the food were mishandled; for example, stored at an improper temperature. The level of irradiation used also does not kill certain spoilage organisms.”
Fact: Irradiation does destroy nutritional content of foods.
From OrganicConsumers.org “A study by Diehl, Hasselmann & Kilcast states the most vulnerable -carotene (provitamin A) and α-tocopherol vitamins to irradiation are (vitamin E). When exposed to under 10 kilograys of ionizing radiation (the standard Canadian dosage), irradiated Manitoban wheat lost 18% more of its vitamin E content over just one day, as compared to the non irradiated variety. Oats, after being irradiated and stored for 6 months, had a 44% decrease in vitamin E as compared to the traditional variety. Irradiated potatoes after being stored for 6 months lost 50% more of their vitamin A content. Irradiated beef liver and powdered egg lost 22% and 18% of their vitamin A content over a 4-week period respectively (Diehl et al., 1991).”
Fact: Irradiation alters the chemical structure of foods, many in unknown ways.
Again from OrganicConsumers.org “There is a wide range of unique chemical changes that result when food is irradiated. These compounds are truly unique because they are never formed during other food processing techniques such as cooking and freezing. To illustrate, an article by George Tritsch, who has over 36 years of expertise in the field of cancer research at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, states that 30 mg of sucrose (table sugar) when irradiated will create 0.05 mg of formaldehyde, which is a carcinogen (2002).”
By the way, it is almost certain your pet food label will NOT bear the irradiation Radura symbol or provide any warning an ingredient in the pet food was treated with irradiation.
Thanks FDA, we pet food consumers can always depend on you to ignore anything consumer friendly; industry thanks you because you are certain to support everything they want.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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