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FALL/WINTER 2000-01

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UW-Madison group advocates safer food through irradiation

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UW-Madison group advocates safer food through irradiation

Food irradiation stand at Farmers' Market

Members focus on irradiation education--pictured at Madison's farmers' market. (38K JPG)

Since April 2000, a new UW-Madison organization with the simple motto, "food irradiation means safer food," has promoted the benefits of irradiated edibles. Founded by Engineering Physics research associate and alumna Sama Bilbao y Léon, the UW Food Irradiation Education Group conducts such activities as monthly workshops and Saturday-morning information sessions at the Dane County Farmers' Market. Faculty, staff and students from disciplines as varied as engineering physics and food science comprise the group. And while members hope more irradiated (or "cool pasteurized") products hit the supermarket shelves, their main goal is educating people about irradiated food. "Food irradiation is not a replacement for other safe food-handling practices," explains EP alumnus Paul Wilson, "but like an airbag supplements other safety systems in a car, food irradiation can have a significant positive impact on the 5,000-plus deaths each year from foodborne illnesses." For more information, visit the group's website: uw-food-irradiation.engr.wisc.edu.

 

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