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Food Irradiation campaign logoThe Food Irradiation Campaign

Between 1987 and 2002, the Food Irradiation Campaign, run within the Food Commission, led public awareness over the problems of irradiation technology.

Food irradiation is promoted by some international bodies and industry groups as the answer to the problem of food poisoning, and as a means to combat world hunger by reducing spoilage and extending shelf life of food. However, there are widespread concerns over the possible health, safety and environmental impacts of food irradiation. The creation of dangerous toxins in the foods, loss of nutrients, potential use of the technology to cover up unhygienic food production, and risks to worker safety are just a few of the many issues still unresolved.

The Food Irradiation Campaign maintains that:

  • Food irradiation is not a solution for cleaning up foods which are unhygienically produced and unfit for consumption;
  • Food irradiation benefits larger producers and traders rather than consumers and small-scale producers;
  • Food irradiation helps to extend the distance food can travel (known as 'food miles') and is not conducive to the promotion of more local food supplies;
  • Good food doesn't need irradiating.

Campaign activities include:

  • Conducting research and investigations;
  • Monitoring industry and government developments;
  • Preparing briefings and articles on food irradiation;
  • Providing an email information service;
  • Organising meetings with consumer groups and regulatory bodies.

What you can do:

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Donate! To maintain its independence The Food Irradiation Campaign takes no funding from government or industry sources. We welcome donations, small or large, to enable us to continue our campaign work. Donations should be made payable to 'The Food Commission' and addressed to Food Irradiation Campaign, C/O The Food Commission, 94 White Lion Street, London N1 9PF, UK.

The success of the Food Irradiation Campaign can be judged by the continued refusal of consumers to ask for irradiated food, and the cautious approach by supermarkets who don't put it on their shelves. In 1990 the UK permitted irradiated foods to be sold to consumers, but twelve years later not a single supermarket is knowingly selling irradiated products.