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HIGHTOWER: Zapping Beef with X-Rays

No wonder everything from tomatoes to beef now comes to us with wimpy flavor, high prices, and deadly diseases. Is there anything left that the profiteers can do to torture our dinner? Yes, they could zap it [zaps] with radioactive Cobalt-60 X-rays ... and that's exactly what they intend to do if we don't stand up and say, "Enough already!"Sara Lee, Cargill, IBP Inc. and other huge corporations that now control the beef industry have long been lobbying both Congress and federal regulators to let them "irradiate" America's red meat supply. And, now, the spineless Clinton administration is caving-in, proposing a new rule authorizing the widespread use of radiation to treat food, especially ground beef.These big companies note that their factory methods of fattening, slaughtering, and processing beef are so disease ridden that thousands of us consumers die from E. coli, Listeria, and other deadly, burger-borne bacteria every year. Rather than adopting clean methods that would prevent such gross contamination, however, the industry wants to add yet another factory method: bombarding the contaminated product with radiation from electron-beam linear accelerators.Is this safe? No one really knows, since longterm human tests have not been done -- you're the guinea pig. Will meat be cheaper? No, prices will rise -- the x-ray equipment costs $10 million per factory. Will it kill the pathogens? Some of them, but bacteria quickly adapt, and the stronger bugs not only will survive, they'll mutate into x-ray resistant superbugs. Plus, irradiated meat will smell and taste ... well, irradiated.This is Jim Hightower saying ... To fight this, contact Food & Water at 802-563-3300.

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