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WASHINGTON - Landover, Md.-based Giant Food was accused Wednesday by consumer groups of putting deceptive claims about irradiation on educational brochures.
In a petition filed with the Federal Trade Commission, the Center for Food Safety and Public Citizen argued that Giant Food is misleading consumers by describing irradiation in the brochures as similar to milk pasteurization.
"Enough confusion exists about irradiated food," said Wenonah Hauter, spokeswoman for Public Citizen. "Stores don't need to add to it."
Giant Food spokeswoman Odonna Mathews told the Associated Press that the company hasn't seen the complaint yet but stands by the claims on its brochures.
"We feel that everything in there is certainly accurate," she said.
The government requires that irradiated meat be labeled "treated by irradiation." Government officials have rejected the term "pasteurization" amid concerns that it could mislead consumers.
FTC officials declined to comment to the AP on the petition.
Giant Food sells irradiated ground beef that has been sanitized with electricity in 190 stores.