WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week announced that it will allow food producers to treat spinach and iceberg lettuce with levels of radiation sufficient to kill E. coli and salmonella bacteria. Previously, produce growers were only allowed to use levels of radiation sufficient to kill insects. “This is probably one of the single most significant food safety actions done for fresh produce in many years,” Robert Brackett, chief scientist for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, told the New York Times. GMA petitioned the agency for the permissions last year. Other groups have argued that irradiation may lower the nutritional value of some foods.
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