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The Cancer Prevention Coalition and Illinois Food Safety Coalition Announce a Public Information Campaign to Warn of the Serious Dangers of Food Irradiation

January 17, 2002

The irradiation industry, with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, claims that irradiating meat and other food is essential to preventing E.coli O157 and other serious bacterial food poisoning. In fact, this could readily be prevented by basic sanitary practices in feedlots and meat packing plants which the powerful meat and irradiation industries are unwilling to do. Furthermore, industry and the FDA claim that irradiated food is safe.

However, these claims are false. "There is well-documented scientific evidence on the cancer and other risks of irradiated food," emphasizes Dr. Samuel Epstein, Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition (CPC). Furthermore, Paul Fehribach, Director of the Illinois Food Safety Coalition (IFSC) states: "The posters will warn of the risks to Schaumburg and Glendale Heights communities where irradiation plants have been recently constructed."

In order to inform unsuspecting consumers, the CPC and IFSC are displaying 46" x 30" posters (see attached), at two platforms in each of the four major Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) stations--the Washington and Jackson Red Lines, and the Washington and Jackson Blue Lines--for up to five weeks from today. Additionally, mini-versions of the posters will be distributed at locations including select CTA stations outside downtown.

These warnings are endorsed by 20 statewide citizen and consumer groups including: Alden Ponds Foundation, Chicago Diner, EarthSave, Families Against Rural Messes (F.A.R.M.), Food Animal Concerns Trust (F.A.C.T.), Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (GRACE), Illinois Greens, Illinois Peace Action, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Lake Michigan Interleague Group of the League of Women Voters (LMILG), Living Upstream, Media Watch, Natural Needs, Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS), Nukewatch, Nutrition for Optimal Health Association (NOHA), Organic Consumers Association, and Organic Food Network.

Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., Chairman, Cancer Prevention Coalition, 312-996-2297
Paul Fehribach, Director, Illinois Food Safety Coalition, 773-294-4551


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