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Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom
Clearly a threat to public health, irradiated foods are not safe for human consumption and contribute to a host of health problems such as cancer and birth defects. Irradiation also causes genetic damage to cells. One of the reasons for this is the fact that irradiated food is exposed to gamma rays of radioactive material or electron beams causing chemical changes in the food.
Essentially, the food becomes mutated by this exposure, a condition which does not occur in nature, and is the cause for many forms of cancer and genetic modification. Yet, Codex pushes irradiation as if it were a great tool of disinfection with no adverse side effects at all.
It should be noted that under current US law, organic food cannot be irradiated. However, that is not the case with Codex standards, as there is no categorization of what foods can and cannot be “treated” with radiation.
It should also be mentioned that current US law states that all irradiated food must be labeled with the radura symbol and some amount of text stating its irradiation. However, that labeling only has to be made visible to the “first consumer” and that is generally individuals such as the distributor, not the average grocery store shopper. 
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However, in contrast to their rhetoric and stated objectives, it is also clear that these regulatory agencies have no real interest in protecting the public from any danger or insuring fair business dealings.
The FDA governs most aspects of food irradiation but the USDA, DOT, and NRC regulate some aspects as well. There are some differences in policy, but it should be noted that the latter three agencies only deal with specific aspects of the process. For instance, the USDA deals only with meat/poultry and fresh fruits, while the NRC addresses the safety of the facilities used in irradiation. The DOT regulates the transportation of the materials.
For the most part, the differences between the policies of these agencies are very slight. Most of the differences exist between the FDA and the USDA but deal only with things such as where labels should be posted and what size type and font should be used. For instance, the USDA requirement for multi-ingredient products that contain irradiated meat is that it should be stated to the consumer by the label yet the FDA has no such requirement at all.
But before one mistakenly gets the impression that the USDA is somehow more interested in protecting the consumer than the FDA, consider the fact that the USDA even allows claims touting the “beneficial effects” of irradiation. Ironically, vitamin and mineral supplements such as Vitamin C are highly regulated in the claims that can be made about their health benefits but radiation may be touted as safe and beneficial.
To add to the shady language of the labeling requirements already in existence, in 2002 Congress created a loophole that had been the desire of the meat and poultry industry for some time. With the creation of this new escape hatch, companies can now use terms like “electronically pasteurized” instead of “treated with radiation” or “irradiated” by bypassing the FDA and going straight to the Secretary of Health and Human Services to request permission to use the new semantically gifted term.
Clearly, if the FDA were truly concerned about those individuals they are supposed to be protecting from adulterated foods, they would, at the very least, require that companies label their products honestly. This proposal, however, clearly shows the true intent behind FDA policies and regulations.
 Krebs, Al. “WTO Codex To Allow Dangerous Levels of Food Irradiation.” Organic Consumers Association. July 10, 2003. http://www.organicconsumers.org/corp/071403_wto_irradiation.cfm Accessed May 24, 2010.
 Nausoulas, Andrianna. “Codex Alimentarius and the International Politics of Food Irradiation.” Toronto Food Policy Council, July 2003. http://www.publiccitizen.org/documents/codextoronto.pdf Accessed May 24, 2010.