Cat-Food Irradiation Banned After Cats Die

About 90 cats fell ill last year and 30 died before a Sydney vet, Georgina Child, made the link in November between the mystery illness and a brand of Canadian gourmet pet food called Orijen.

The manufacturer, Champion Petfoods, blamed the contaminated food on Australian quarantine regulations, which demand that pet food not cooked over a specified temperature undergo irradiation of 50 kiloGrays upon arrival in the country. Of the 60 countries Champion Petfoods exports to, only Australia makes irradiation compulsory.

The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service and the company that carries out the process, Steritech, insisted at the time the irradiation process was harmless.

(What's obvious on cats may be much less obvious on humans, leading to long term health problems. Precaution should be invoked on irradiation of foods.)

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