"Pasteurized" Will Mean "Irradiated"
Orwell said, “If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”
What comes to mind? I think of white-washing, spin, and euphemisms; if you want to paint a pretty picture of something that is perhaps not so pleasant, don’t you pick your choice of words carefully? For example, instead of calling jumping out of an airplane (before we open the parachute) “free-falling” we coin it “sky-diving.” We say “Operation Enduring Freedom” instead of . . . .
In George Orwell's 1984, newspeak is a political language designed to narrow the range of thinking among the citizenry to the point that they lack the terms to think for themselves. "Freedom" is defined as slavery and "slavery" as freedom. That should convince everyone to be happy slaves. It is not surprising that those who direct wars would want to narrow the thought of the nation behind them to thoughts of acceptance and support. (source)
And what about the assault on our food system? It appears the FDA is getting in on the linguistical disinformation act, as they are proposing to allow irradiated foods to be labeled as “cold pasteurized,” “electronic pasteurized,” or other yet-to-be-determined terms rather than “irradiated.” So even while the FDA is proclaiming food irradiation to be safe, they are attempting to downplay, in the marketplace, how our food has been “sanitized.”
Consumer confusion over labeling changes has been considered, in a calculated manner. In the words of the FDA’s Assistant Commissioner for Policy, Jeffrey Shuren:
In the short run, there may be increased consumption of irradiated food if those consumers who do not want irradiated food do not equate the alternative term with irradiation.
In other words, there won't be any public information campaigns over the label changes. I have posted several times about the health concerns of irradiated foods and I am adamant that consumers be educated and informed.
Simultaneously the FDA proposes to drop the requirement to label some foods as irradiated. Here is the proposal in its entirety:
only those irradiated foods in which the irradiation causes a material change in the food, or a material change in the consequences that may result from the use of the food, bear the radura logo and the term "irradiated," or a derivative thereof, in conjunction with explicit language describing the change in the food or its conditions of use.
Conditions of use? Now you are going to tell me how to prepare my own food too?
But don’t despair, because here is a nugget of sage advice embedded in all of this:
So there you go – vote with your money. Buy organic! To qualify as organic, a food cannot be irradiated.
firms will only start using irradiation if they believe doing so will increase profits.
The FDA will allow public comment for 90 days (ends July 3, 2007). To read the proposal, search their site for FDA-2007-0189-0001. Your result will be a page from which you can open the 16 page PDF. Here are the FDA’s instructions for commenting:
You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. 2005N-0272 by any of the following methods: Electronic Submissions Submit electronic comments in the following ways:• Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.• Agency Web site: http://www.fda.gov/dockets/ecomments. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the agency Web site. Written Submissions Submit written submissions in the following ways:• FAX: 301-827-6870.• Mail/Hand delivery/Courier [For paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions]: Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. To ensure more timely processing of comments, FDA is no longer accepting comments submitted to the agency by e-mail. FDA encourages you to continue to submit electronic comments by using the Federal eRulemaking Portal or the agency Web site, as described in the Electronic Submissions portion of this paragraph. Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket No. 2005N-0272 or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/default.htm, including any personal information provided. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Comments heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/default.htmand insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the Search box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Information Collection Provisions: Submit written comments on the information collection provisions to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB).To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, FAX: 202-395-6974.