Call To Boycott Hawaiian
Papayas Over Irradiation
From Dan Steinberg <>
Action Alert: Stop irradiation of fresh fruits from Hawaii
Write letters to Papaya Trade Association and major Hawaii newspaper
Take action to stop the first large-scale plan to sell irradiated fruit in the US. Hawaii activists say that public pressure NOW is critical. Since the 1960s, Hawaiian growers and government have tried to irradiate papayas using nuclear materials. Now, a company called Hawaii Pride is building an electron-beam irradiator, to open in June 2000. This facility will mostly irradiate papayas, and small amounts of some tropical fruits like starfruit, longans, rambutans and lychees. If Hawaii Pride is successful, more irradiation of fruits and vegetables is sure to follow. (If you are a vegetarian, see "Food Irradiation: Why Vegetarians Should Care" at <
Labels are currently required only for whole foods. Individual fruits should be labeled, but may not be. Restaurant or institutional food, or ingredients in processed food don,t have to be labeled (such as cut-up papayas in a purchased fruit salad). The FDA is currently revising labeling regulations, and may try to remove ALL labels. At that point, there will be no turning back!
Contact the trade association for papaya exporters in Hawaii, and tell them you will boycott Hawaiian papayas because you want living foods, not cooked foods masquerading as fresh. (The other fruits do not have trade associations because they are grown in much smaller quantities.) A
short sample letter follows. Write to:
Papaya Administrative Committee 230 Kekuanaoa St Hilo, Hawaii 96720-4318 or call 808/969-1160.
Send a copy as a letter to the editor: Hawaii Tribune-Herald Letters to the Editor P.O. Box 767 Hilo, HI. 96721
Send a copy to the manager of your supermarket and to the customer service office of the supermarket headquarters.
Background Information
What does a Hawaiian papaya look like? These are yellow and shaped like Bartlett pears, about the size of an acorn squash. The Mexican papaya is greenish, ripening to orange, the shape of a spaghetti squash or football, and is often 5 lbs. or larger.
How is the food affected? Fresh foods are our best sources of antioxidants and living digestive enzymes. They are the basis of a healthful diet. There is much evidence that an organic, all-raw or largely raw diet is optimal for longevity and health. Irradiation, whether by electronic beams or nuclear materials, makes the nutrition of raw food similar to that of cooked food. Just as it kills bacteria or insect pests by creating free radicals that break up the cell walls and DNA, irradiation damages or kills the living enzymes. In this dead food, the increased free radicals are not balanced by natural antioxidants, because these are depleted, from 5%-50% or even up to 80% if stored for a long time. Irradiated 'fresh' food is really cooked, dead food that looks and tastes like fresh food. That's why it lasts so much longer in storage.
What is the justification for irradiation? For these fruits, to kill fruit flies. However, according to Irradiation-Free Food Hawaii, vapor heat and dry heat are proven, tried and trusted methods of treating papaya for export, and irradiation is not necessary.
Resources Large site with more information about irradiation: (BioDemocracy/OCA) or Danila at Hawaii-specific information: Irradiation-Free Food Hawaii at The company that is building the irradiator:
SAMPLE LETTER -=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Papaya Administrative Committee 230 Kekuanaoa St Hilo, Hawaii 96720-4318
Dear Sir or Madam:
I love fresh fruits and they are an important part of my diet. When I buy fresh foods, I expect them to have their full nutritional value including all their vitamins and enzymes. Both nuclear and electronic-beam irradiation creates free radicals, depletes the vitamins (A, C, E, B and K) and damages the enzymes. Nutritionally, the food is similar to cooked food.
If Hawaiian papayas and other tropical fruits are irradiated, I will have no choice but to boycott all Hawaiian tropical fruits except mangoes and pineapples. Although labels are required for whole fruits, I do not want to risk purchasing an irradiated fruit that is not as nourishing as life-giving fresh foods.
cc: Hawaii Tribune-Herald Letters to the Editor P.O. Box 767 Hilo, Hawaii 96721


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