When you see the unassuming flower symbol – known as the radura – on a pet treat label, do you understand what it means? The radura symbol tells the consumer the product has been treated with irradiation. And irradiation comes with risk. From Dr. Michael Fox…
IS FOOD IRRADIATION THE CAUSE OF DOGS SICKENING FROM JERKY TREATS FROM CHINA?
The recently posted issue of dogs developing acute kidney disease ( Fanconi syndrome) from meat jerky treats imported from China may be due to such products being subjected to irradiation. According to the highly respected Center for Food Safety “ Food irradiation uses high-energy Gamma rays, electron beams or X-rays (all of which are millions of times more powerful than standard medical X-rays) to break apart the bacteria and insects that can hide in meat, grains and other foods. Radiation can do strange things to food, by creating substances called “unique radiolytic products.” These irradiation byproducts include a variety of mutagens – substances that can cause gene mutations, polyploidy (an abnormal condition in which cells contain more than two sets of chromosomes), chromosome aberrations (often associated with cancerous cells) and dominant lethal mutations (a change in a cell that prevents it from reproducing) in human cells. Making matters worse, many mutagens are also carcinogens”.
“Research also shows that irradiation forms volatile toxic chemicals such as benzene and toluene, chemicals known, or suspected, to cause cancer and birth defects. Irradiation also causes stunted growth in lab animals fed irradiated foods. An important 2001 study linked colon tumor promotion in lab rats to 2-alkylcyclobutanones (2-ACB’s), a new chemical compound found only in irradiated foods. The FDA has never tested the safety of these byproducts. Irradiation has also been shown to cause the low-level production of furans (similar to cancer-causing dioxins) in fruit juice”
As I reported in 2009, cats in Australia developed neurological problems from being fed an irradiated brand of imported cat food. Consumers beware, and as with the GMO-free label that manufacturers and allied government agencies have sought to prohibit, all food and beverages and ingredients of same that have been subjected to irradiation should be so labeled as well as countries of origin. At this time it is best to avoid all pet foods and treats not manufactured in the U.S. and avoid products that say “Manufactured for and distributed by….”
Essentially food irradiation creates “mummified” food, killing off bacteria that cause “spoilage” (natural putrefaction) to prolong shelf-life primarily for financial rather than health reasons. Endotoxins, which can cause illness and death, are produced by some bacteria prior to irradiation, remain in the various animal parts recycled into pet foods and are not destroyed by irradiation.
—Dr. Michael W. Fox, Animal Doctor syndicated newspaper columnist. www.drfoxvet.net
While the FDA says irradiation is safe, SustainableTable.org states “The long-term health consequences of eating irradiated food are still unknown. Irradiation creates a complex series of reactions that alter the molecular structure of food and create known carcinogens, including benzene, and other toxic chemicals, including toluene. In addition, byproducts of irradiation, called 2-ACBs, which do not occur naturally in any food, have been linked to cancer in rats and genetic damage in human cells. Animals fed irradiated foods have died prematurely and suffered mutations, stillbirths, organ damage and nutritional deficiencies.”
The radura symbol will be found in many colors, on the front of the package or on the back. Look for it. In full agreement with Dr. Fox…consumers beware of the radura.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
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