The Obama Administration is considering nominating Dr. Michael Doyle, a proponent of food irradiation, for Under Secretary of Food Safety.
If this sounds familiar, it's because the Administration was forced to stop considering Michael Osterholm, another irradition proponent, for the same position after thousands of folks like you spoke up. Tell Secretary Vilsack and the Obama Administration that you still don't think irradiation is the answer to our food safety problems.
What's so bad about irradiation? The technology's safety has not been thoroughly researched. Some research suggests that irradiated food promotes tumor growth and may cause genetic damage. Irradiation is also ineffective, as it fails to kill all bacteria and may undermine food safety efforts by masking filthy conditions in slaughterhouses. On top of all this, the technology is expensive, meaning we will all pay more to treat our food with something that may harm our health.
Dr. Doyle has been a zealot in promoting this controversial technology as the panacea to contaminated food. He has been quoted in the media numerous times supporting irradiation as a quick fix to our food safety problems. Tell Secretary Vilsack to oppose irradiation and the potential nomination of Dr. Doyle!
On top of all this, Dr. Doyle would also bring serious conflicts of interest to his new position. Dr. Doyle has served as consultant for big agriculture, including positions with ConAgra and the American Peanut Council. More recently, Dr. Doyle has raised funds from companies like Cargill, Coca-Cola, Hormel, and McDonald's as part of his position as Director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia. Does anyone really think Dr. Doyle can effectively regulate the same companies that so recently funded his work at the University of Georgia?
The Obama Administration has enacted policies to support sustainable and organic agriculture. But appointing Dr. Doyle to run food safety would be a huge step backward. We've already had a a food irradiation advocate who cared more about corporate interests than public safety as Undersecretary for Food Safety - under President Bush. Tell Secretary Vilsack we don't want to go down that road again.
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Alex, Sarah, Noelle, and The Food Team
Food & Water Watch