Dubious diet

Published: Monday 15 July 2002

Beware of prawns, shrimps, herbs and spices. They could be irradiated. Recently, Britain's Food Standards Agency (fsa) found that a large number of dietary supplements in the uk are irradiated. Irradiation, which exposes eatables to controlled radiation to kill micro-organisms, is a scientifically accepted technique. However, many consumer groups have raised doubts about the safety of such food. The fsa survey indicated that 42 per cent of dietary supplement samples tested were being sold illegally. It also revealed that five out of 202 prawn and shrimp samples and one among 203 herb and spice samples had been exposed to radiation. Under the uk's existing licensing system, only labelled irradiated herbs and spices are permitted to be retailed. The agency has alerted companies selling illegal versions of such products and told them to stop their sale.

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