Bad news for Ben & Jerry’s?
…Last fall the EPA set a preliminary “safe” threshold level of 0.7 picograms of dioxin per kilogram of body weight per day. That means a person weighing 100 pounds should not consume more than 32 picograms of dioxin per day. A pictogram is one trillionth of a gram.
Food and ag groups are concerned because the “safe” number proposed by EPA is far more stringent than current international science-based standards. In a letter sent to the Obama Administration in early December, a coalition of ag and food groups said, “EPA is proposing to create a situation in which most U.S. agricultural products could arbitrarily be classified as unfit for consumption. The implications of this action are chilling.”
Steve Kopperud, coordinator for the Food Industry Dioxin Working Group, told Dairy Herd Management last week that when food groups analyzed EPA’s proposed safe number, “what we discovered was that the average consumer would exceed the reference dose.”
And that’s why this issue leaves the food industry in a pickle – oppose EPA’s guidelines and industry seems insensitive to the dangers of dioxin; accept the stringent “safe” number and virtually no food will be deemed safe.
The letter sent to the Obama Administration stated the EPA proposal “sets a dioxin exposure threshold lower than any government entity in the world, including the European Union.” In fact, Kopperud says the EPA standard would be three times more stringent than the European Union standard, and, the EU is “one of the most precautionary governments on the planet.”