Apology accepted, absolutely - and apologies from me for my 'sensitivity'
as well! I guess we both have some buttons here! I think this is an
interesting example of how difficult it truly is to communicate with nothing
but words on a page - totally lacking all the other 'secondary' information
- tone, pitch, facial movements... but that's another story.
Thanks a lot for the information on the irradiation process - I'm sure many
of us were unaware of the exact process, and it is good to find out.
But I guess when it comes right down to it, my earlier (cynical, maybe, but
I don't think narrowminded) rhetorical question still holds - where is the
stuff coming from? And if I understand you correctly, it requires a nuclear
reactor somewhere in the process? If this is so, then (for me) this is one
very strong reason why I don't 'support' it right off the bat.
Anyway, I am happy to let this one lie if you are...
All the best, Beth
>Subject: Re: Should Our Meat Be Irradiated?
>Date: Thu Mar, 1999, 15:15
>Permit me to apologize for the "personal pot-shot." Perhaps I was a bit too
>sensitive at the time when reading your post.
>I'd like the public to be more informed, and not only on this particular
>subject, but on other controversial subjects. But the information propagated
>must be accurate and balanced. Balanced, meaning that the whole story is told
>and not just that which is personally appealing. Perhaps, that's why the "pot-
>Again, I apologize for offending you.
>Regarding the public forum, I think open discussion benefits all.
>I posted a response to another earlier misrepresentation of irrradiation. Most
>users of radioactive material, if not exclusively, irradiated using gamma
>photons emitted from the decay of Cobalt-60. Cobalt-60 is artificial produced
>from non-radioactive Cobalt-59. The sources for this metal are found mostly in
>Canada and Russia.
>This non-radioactive form of Cobalt is machined to a certain size, typically
>1.25 in (diam.) and 1-1.25 in. in length. These cylinders of machined metal
>are encapsulated and placed in a heavy-water reactor for a period of about 24
>During the process of activation, atoms of Cobalt-59 "absorb" neutrons into
>their nucleus causing the atom to be unstable, or radioactive. It begins to
>decay, even during the activation process. The half life is about 5.24 years.
>The decay product is Nickel-60, a non-radioactive atom.
>The encapsulated, activated Cobalt-60 is again encapsulated in a stainless
>steel capsule which is welded shut. In this form, the capsules or "pencils"
>are used in irradiators, facilities built for the specific use of irradiating
>The magnitude of energy given off in the decay process, that is, the radiation
>doing the job of inactivating replication of microbes, is insufficient to
>cause anything to become radioactive.
>Spices have been irradiated for a few decades. These spices are used in
>variety of seasonings, toppings and flavorings.
>Deboned chicken has been irradiated in France over the past two decades.
>NASA has been irradiating prepared foods used on space missions in order to
>preserve the quality of the food for nearly two decades.
>There are people, and I am among them, that desire to have foods made safe for
>my consumption as well as that of my family. This is not to say that all of
>society must adopt this methodology. But those who chose to have their food
>treated that way should have a right of that choice.
>I hope that you agree. Additionally, I hope that I've given you sufficient
>information to familiarize you with the process, albeit summarized.
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