The Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Consumer Federation of America took cheap shots at meat irradiation in yesterday’s Chicago Tribune. This despite unequivocal endorsement of the technology from such sources as the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, the American Dietetic Association, and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

Last week Ralph Nader’s nanny-group Public Citizen (PC) announced its participation in a new coalition of activist groups, called the Global Safe Food Alliance. This includes 17 activist organizations, and has already issued a series of pronouncements about the supposed dangers of eating irradiated meat. The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is this effort’s other ringleader. Both Public Citizen and Organic Consumers have long-standing anti-irradiation activist campaigns.

Irradiation is an extensively-studied method of killing harmful bacteria in food. Dr. Allan Forbes, a past director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Nutrition and Food Sciences, has gone on record saying that “[f]ood irradiation is safe beyond the slightest question and could make food safer too … it’s clear to me that these groups make their living by creating fear about issues like this.”