Will Human Subjects Be Informed?

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - Meat suppliers, restaurants, nursing homes and childcare centers here say they may serve irradiated meat to their patrons. We wonder if the clientele will be asked for their consent. Kim Pearson, director of food services at Mount Olivet Careview Home, told a local paper that she'd written a research paper on irradiation. "People are exposed to more radiation already than they know," she said. Pearson's statement, which is true, implies that eating irradiated meat will expose you to radiation, which is not. However, irradiation of meat does kill beneficial bacteria, destroy essential amino acids and produce cancer-causing radiolytic products in the meat, including benzene and formaldehyde. The spread of irradiation will also increase cancer among transportation and factory workers exposed to cesium-137, the highly radioactive source material. Help fight irradiation: Food & Water, Inc. has packets to spread the word. (See Resources)

- Minneapolis Star Tribune, Dec. 16, 1999.