June 3, 2003 -- In her novel Anthem, Ayn Rand portrays a primitive, degenerate collectivist society in which all forms of innovation are viewed with suspicion. It took 50 years for the masters of this world to approve that radical invention: the candle. The spiritual brothers of those tyrants have accomplished almost the same feat here in Washington. 

One way to kill dangerous bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli in beef is to irradiate it with gamma rays or X-rays. This technology has been widely used in other countries and is approved in the United States for use on poultry, fruit, and vegetables. There is no evidence of adverse health effects from eating irradiated food. Yet only after nearly 40 years of tests and experience did the Food and Drug Administration in 1997 approve this process for beef, with the Department of Agriculture (DOA) giving it the rubber stamp two years later. Now the DOA has lifted a ban on using such irradiated beef in the nation’s school lunch program. Naturally, so-called “consumer” groups think four decades of success proves nothing. But at least with the Consumer Federation of America, Public Citizen, and other food fascists spending their time fighting for the rights of bacteria against the rights of individual humans to choose, they won’t have time to snuff out dangerous technologies like candles!

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Edward Hudgins

About The Author:

Edward Hudgins is the former director of advocacy for The Atlas Society, the author of numerous Atlas Society commentaries, and the editor of several books on politics and government policy. He is now research director for the Heartland Institute. He has also worked at the Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, and Joint Economic Committee of Congress.

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