Sunday, November 20, 2005
What Does BARC (Bhaba Atomic Research Centre) do when it needs to sell radiation chambers?
Peddle on the street?
Door to door selling?
Give it free with toothpaste?
All this would have been better.
But no. They found another way.
“Buy 1 kg meat and get 100 grams FREE!! “
This “not so important news” happened in Kerala, God’s own country and the land of 100 % literacy.
120 kilos were given out and 120 families got free 100 gram meat. About a week later these 120 families were traced back and asked to fill questionnaires regarding what they felt about the free 100 grams…the pricing, quality,taste…
Curious journos found it strange and conducted a mini investigation.
What they found was startling..
The ‘free 100 grams ‘ was “Radiated meat”.
It was a joint experiment conducted by the BARC and Kerala Agricultural University to find the feasibility of using Radiation Chambers to process meat, and develop a market for radiation chambers in the food processing industry.
Further probe found out the following:
1.A Radiation chamber worth RS 30 lakhs was “ gifted” to KAU by BARC as an advance payment of services rendered.
2.Laymen, including Class 4 employees of KAU, were operating the facility.
3.No tracking system was employed to find out the actual amount of gamma rays used for radiation.
4.The 120 families to whom the meat was “gifted” were not informed about the experiment and what they had eaten.
The issue is still under debate in Kerala with KAU/BARC on one side and the people on the other side.
I decided to do a ‘ google” on this and found out the following:
It turns out that when you hit food with these enormous doses of gamma rays (usually from cobalt-80) you create molecules called "radiotoxines". The medical world calls them "radiolytic by-products" and classifies them into two categories. Known and Unknown.
The ‘known’ category includes such neat things as formaldehyde and benzene
The ‘unknown’ category is described as "unique radiolytic products" which are chemical molecules that have never been characterized and are not found anywhere in nature.
Does it harm ?
Of course. About 30% of Vitamin C is destroyed. Milk is known to lose 70% of Vitamin A, B1 and B2 when radiated. Vitamins E, K, the entire B group, amino acids and essential fatty acids, are all known to be adversely affected.
And on eating....
Animal studies are clear. When up to 35% of the lab-animal diet was radiated, feeding studies had to be abandoned because the animals died or were unable to eat.
At the University of Illinois, the Department of Medicine fed radiated food to mice. Seventeen percent had to be killed or died because of respiratory problems so severe they couldn’t even move around their cages. They did autopsies. The hearts of the mice had enlarged to twice to three times normal, and in some cases had burst.
Researchers at the Medical College of Virginia fed rats radiated beef. All the male rats died of hemorrhagic syndrome within 34 days. They investigated the effect of hormones by castrating a group of male rats and then feeding them with radiated beef. They all died within 63 days--as did all the female rats.
So why is this happening here?
Apparently the BARC is eyeing the huge food processing industry in India. They are projecting radiation chambers as the one stop solution towards “debacterization” of food. But the interesting fact here is that BARC itself says that radiated food may get infected again if not stored in a chill tray..!!
And for this they are using their own country men as guinea pigs….even when the UN has passed resolutions against using humans for food and drug testing.
Prestigious Universities and eminent scholars all over the world have conducted research and completely disposed the idea of radiated food. Attempts to sell radiated food have been met with strong protests all over the world.
Yet in India, all this sums up to crap.... .Isn’t it time we did something?