Health & Fitness: Food Fight Over Gamma Rays

Critics bombard irradiation as a preservative

To Michael Fey, it is the "most important advance in dietary health since the invention of pasteurization." To Denis Mosgofian, it is the "massacre of the American food supply." Fey, a food scientist, works for a company called Radiation Technology. Mosgofian is director of the National Coalition to Stop Food Irradiation. The two men are talking -- yelling, really -- about one of the most emotional health issues of the 1980s: the use of irradiation as a preservative. The mixing of gamma rays with edibles has set off a nuclear food-chain reaction, releasing high rhetoric, short tempers and mass uncertainty.

The...

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