The Consequences of Food Irradiation

Food irradiation is supposed to help us be safer because it kills pathological organisms, or at least that’s what the proponents of the technology would have us believe.

But a recent experiment on pregnant cats fed irradiated foods casts serious doubt on those claims.

An article published by iHealthBulletin News highlighted research done at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. These researchers wanted to understand the neurological effects seen in pregnant cats fed irradiated foods. Those effects include movement disorders, vision loss and paralysis.

The good news for the cats was that once taken off the irradiated foods they slowly recovered from these neurological symptoms. The bad news for anyone eating irradiated foods is what the researchers discovered about the effects of these foods on the nervous system.

It turns out that eating irradiated foods stripped away the myelin sheath surrounding the nerves in these cats. You may know that this myelin sheath is critical for the nervous system to function smoothly and efficiently. It acts as a kind of insulator, allowing nerve impulses to get where they’re going faster and without being dispersed along the way.

Loss of myelin sheath leads to

  • blurred or double vision

  • tingling or numbness (neuropathy) in legs, arms, chest, or face

  • weakness of arms or legs

  • speech impairment and memory loss

  • heat sensitivity

  • loss of dexterity

  • poor coordination & balance

  • difficulty controlling bowel movements or urination

  • fatigue

Big fun…

Presumably the connection of irradiated food and this myelin sheath loss can be traced to some of the effects irradiation has on food. Here’s a short list of these effects:

  • kills naturally present enzymes

  • destroys vitamins A, B1, C, E and K

  • makes food more susceptible to contamination by the cancer-causing, liver-toxic fungus, aflatoxin

The most commonly irradiated foods include fish, fruits (especially citrus fruits), meats and vegetables (especially onions & potatoes).

Spotting Irradiated Foods

In spite of industry resistance, for now at least you can spot irradiated foods in the store. The symbol marking such foods is called the “radura” and it looks like this:

Radura symbol for irradiated foods

Watch for it and avoid all foods marked with it. You’ll be better off in the long run.


Hyperhealth Pro Database, In-Tele-Health, Hansville, WA, 2008.

iHealthBulletin News Article

National Academy of Sciences Abstract about this Study

Wikipedia Article on Myelin Sheaths

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