USDA Rule on Irradiated Produce is Huge Loss for Consumers, U.S. Farmers
Statement of Wenonah Hauter, Director of Public Citizen’s Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program
Public Citizen [Full story] is extremely disappointed that the Bush administration has decided to approve a rule that will permit the import of irradiated fruits and vegetables. The rule, which was issued by the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and takes effect today, will benefit large food producers, processors and distributors at the expense of small farmers. It also will encourage the proliferation of irradiated food, which has not yet been proven safe for human consumption in the long term. With the adoption of this rule, APHIS, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is continuing its transformation from an agency that was created to protect American agriculture and consumers from foreign pests and diseases into an agency that promotes trade.