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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
USDA Approves Irradiated Meat for Schools<br><br><br><br>
USDA Approves Irradiated Meat for National School Lunch Program<br><br><br><br>
Public Citizen Press Release<br><br>
May 29, 2003<br><br>
---------------------<br><br>
For Immediate Release:<br><br>
Contact:<br><br>
Patty Lovera (202 )454-5132<br><br>
Tony Corbo (202) 454-5131<br><br><br><br>
Approval of Irradiated Meat for National School Lunch Program Is Wrong<br><br>
Decision<br><br><br><br>
Statement by Wenonah Hauter, Director of Public Citizen's Critical Mass<br><br>
Energy and Environment Program<br><br><br><br>
Despite thousands of comments to the federal government from parents,<br><br>
teachers and children nationwide opposing irradiated meat in the<br><br>
National School Lunch Program (91 percent of those commenting were<br><br>
against it), the government today ignored the will of its constituents<br><br>
and approved the use of irradiation for the federal nutrition program.<br><br>
By offering schools the option of purchasing irradiated meat for school<br><br>
lunches, which feed 27 million children each year, the U.S. Department<br><br>
of Agriculture (USDA) could become the largest distributor of irradiated<br><br>
food in the world.<br><br><br><br>
Beginning in January 2004, children who participate in the federal<br><br>
program will become guinea pigs in a government experiment that has<br><br>
neglected parental concerns and disregarded numerous studies that show<br><br>
the potentially harmful health effects of eating irradiated food. This<br><br>
horrendous decision benefits the meat industry at the expense of<br><br>
society's most vulnerable citizens - our children. Approving irradiated<br><br>
meat for school cafeterias nationwide means the USDA is willing to put<br><br>
our children's health at risk to help cover up the meat industry's<br><br>
sanitation failures. Prioritizing industry's influence over the safety<br><br>
of those it feeds is not just a bad decision - it is an error in moral<br><br>
judgment.<br><br><br><br>
Because federal law does not require labeling of irradiated food served<br><br>
in schools, restaurants, hospitals and similar venues, irradiated meat<br><br>
served in school cafeterias need not be labeled. This makes it<br><br>
impossible for parents to know what school cafeterias are feeding their<br><br>
children and is a blatant violation of parents' right to know.<br><br><br><br>
More importantly, the children most likely to eat food purchased<br><br>
through the school lunch program are from lower-income families who<br><br>
cannot afford to send their children to school with homemade lunches.<br><br>
These children must depend on food provided by government nutrition<br><br>
programs. If irradiated meat ends up on their lunch trays at schools,<br><br>
they don't have the option of refusing it.<br><br><br><br>
Irradiation is not an acceptable antidote for food safety problems.<br><br>
From strengthening government meat inspection to addressing the<br><br>
appalling disrepair in many school cafeterias, there is much that should<br><br>
be done to improve the safety of food served to our nation's children at<br><br>
school. But using the purchasing power of the federal government to<br><br>
bail out a struggling industry and serving this questionable product to<br><br>
children have no place in a sensible food safety plan.<br><br><br><br>
To read Public Citizen's comments to the USDA on irradiated food school<br><br><br><br>
lunch program, please go to<br><br><a href="http://www.citizen.org/documents/schoollunchprogramcomments.pdf." target="_blank">http://www.citizen.org/documents/sch...mcomments.pdf.</a> To<br><br>
read a fact sheet on irradiation, please go to<br><br><a href="http://www.citizen.org/documents/opposeradfood.pdf." target="_blank">http://www.citizen.org/documents/opposeradfood.pdf.</a><br><br><br><br>
######
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here's a link to a FAQ sheet on irradiation:<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.organicconsumers.org/Irrad/irradFAQ.rtf" target="_blank">http://www.organicconsumers.org/Irrad/irradFAQ.rtf</a>
 

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MOP--you have a wealth of info in that head dont you? this issue sickens me. i have done a fair amount of reading on it--yet with every issue i have going on i am sure i will find your links useful--thanks<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> i do not have kids in school yet, however i am horrified at the thought of them going for many reasons where food will be in their faces. AARGH!!
 

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more proof that so many government institutions (not just in the US) aren't your friends and politicians and 'so called experts' aren't even close to being qualified to make intelligent decisions based on logic .<br><br><br><br>
sigh .......
 

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hmm, I never had a cafeteria. Even in high school, it was just a canteen (a hole in the wall) with one special and the usualy chips/chocolate/candy.<br><br><br><br>
I always took my own lunch or went home in elementary school. I don't see why kids need to buy lunch. If you don't want your kids to eat irradiated meat, then give them a good lunch to take to school. Even poor families should be able to buy the basics for a packed lunch-veggies, fruit, bread, etc. Maybe I just can't understand how people can't afford to feed their kids and must rely on subsidized programs. Food should come FIRST!!
 

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Unfortunatly there are a lot of kids whose parents (often they only have one) who doesn't have the money and/or the time to make them a lunch. For many parents, they have a choice: they can work for the money to feed their kids, or they can be at home to do things like pack a lunch. There are a lot of kids that depend on free/reduced school lunch.<br><br><br><br>
And sadly, there are children for whome their children aren't a priority. Those kids didn't do anything wrong, but they'll be the ones to eat that meat.
 

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I agree with bloodysunsett - the children who don't have a choice are stuck.<br><br><br><br>
My daughter (the anti-vegan) eats at the cafeteria at school. I would LOVE to make her lunch, but she tells me it isn't "cool".<br><br><br><br>
Maybe this next school year I'll have to insist.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by superjane</i><br><br><b>I don't see why kids need to buy lunch. If you don't want your kids to eat irradiated meat, then give them a good lunch to take to school. Even poor families should be able to buy the basics for a packed lunch-veggies, fruit, bread, etc. Maybe I just can't understand how people can't afford to feed their kids and must rely on subsidized programs. Food should come FIRST!!</b></div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
Usually rent comes first. I had one student whose entire family lived off one box of mac & cheese a day -- but thanks to lunch tickets, the kids got a breakfast and lunch every week day. I've also had students who were evicted, homeless, living in cars... Sometimes it's because one parent has just been sent to jail, sometimes due to layoffs, sometimes due to neglect, sometimes just hard luck... It's unfortunately common where I work.<br><br><br><br>
And I used to live there. And I've gone without meals a few times, too, and my family made just barely above the amount that's the cut-off for school lunch tickets. My parents were by <i>no</i> means neglectful and were (are) very hard workers.<br><br><br><br>
So, since so many people depend on subsidized lunches, I think it's <i>incredibly</i> important that they be safe. I find this news greatly distressing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":(">
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Plus, lets not forget plain old IGNORANCE.<br><br><br><br>
Average Parent: "Our kids get fed for free!"<br><br><br><br>
Informed Parent: "Do you know what's in the food they're being served?"<br><br><br><br>
AP: "Sure! Ham, fruit snacks, chocolate milk, it's all good food."<br><br><br><br>
IP: "But do you know what's actually IN that food?"<br><br><br><br>
AP: "What do you mean?"<br><br><br><br>
IP: "Well, are you aware of the ingredients, the processes, how that food is raised and grown?"<br><br><br><br>
AP: "I don't see why it matters, I mean it's food! And it's free, so there shouldn't be a problem. It's not like the government would feed our kids pesticides, or unhealthy food, right?"
 

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Who can we write letters about this to? Something has to be done, and I don't know how else to go about it, but I have a little sis who eats hot lunch, and this is inexcusable. What can we do??
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Who can we write letters about this to? Something has to be done, and I don't know how else to go about it, but I have a little sis who eats hot lunch, and this is inexcusable. What can we do??</div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
Call Del Monte (fresh foods) at 1-800-543-3090 to say you won't buy the "fresh" foods packaged in glass and plastic that they plan to irradiate.<br><br>
Call Wal-Mart at 1-800-925-6278 and say you won't buy irradiated beef (they have been threatening to offer it for the past 2 years).<br><br>
Call Tyson to say you won't buy their chicken if they irradiate: 1-800-233-6332.<br><br><b>Call Kraft at 800/543-5335 to say you won't buy the lunch meats they plan to irradiate.</b><br><br>
Call meatpacker Emmpak: 1-800-323-0639<br><br>
Call meatpacker Excel/Cargill: 1-877-543-0453<br><br>
Contact the papaya industry headquarters in Hawaii, and tell them you are boycotting all Hawaiian papayas because some have been irradiated and sold unlabeled<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Go to <a href="http://www.organicconsumers.org/irrad/actions.cfm" target="_blank">http://www.organicconsumers.org/irrad/actions.cfm</a> where you can find handouts, info, numbers to call, sample letters, etc.<br><br><br><br>
--------Trav------
 
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