Berkeley, CA School Board Resolution Against Irradiated Meat

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Berkeley, CA, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Adopted on 11/6/02

Vote: In Favor - 3 Opposed - 0 Abstain - 2

Source File:


WHEREAS, AN October 26, 2002 AP news report announced that irradiated meat may, for the first time, be used by local school districts in their federally subsidized lunch program, with the USDA indicated that district's will be able to (but not mandated to) purchase irradiated meat by the end of the year; and

WHEREAS, THE sale of irradiated meat has been available to the general public since 1999 but has not been received with consumer confidence, particularly here in food- and health-conscious Berkeley, and has not been permitted in our public school lunch program until this time; and

WHEREAS, THE use of irradiation as a sterilization process for meat and other food has had no long-term health and side-effect studies on humans; and

WHEREAS, YOUNG children are the most susceptible population to cumulative toxins, additives, and chemical/radioactive processes, and there is still controversy and debate in the medical and scientific community as to acceptable levels of low-level radiation and the long-term effects of low-level radiation on food products; and

WHEREAS, THE consumer group Public Citizen strongly opposes the use of irradiated food, arguing that the process destroys vitamins and nutrients and can produce chemicals that have been linked to birth defects and cancers; and

WHEREAS, MANY food and health activists believe that such food-technologies as irradiation allow the production and processing of substandard meat/food products, under less than ideal processing conditions, permitting the industries involved to "cover-up" their poor practices; and

WHEREAS, THERE is a strong, clear commitment to healthy, unadulterated foods in Berkeley, as evidenced by our strong Child Nutrition Advisory Committee, our school-site gardens, and the edible schoolyard concept at King Middle school; and

THEREFORE, THE Berkeley Board of Education resolves this 6th day of November 2002 to affirm Berkeley's values and commitments to nutritious, safe food for our children in our public schools by prohibiting the use of any known irradiated nutritional food product in any of our Food Services lunch, breakfast, or snack program at any of our school sites until evidence exists of the safety of this food technology to the satisfaction of the Board.