Views sought on food irradiation regulation
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Quality-Safety/Views-sought-on-food-irradiation-regulation
By Jane Byrne, 29-Jan-2009
comments on new regulations governing the irradiation of food in England are
being sought by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
The agency said it is
canvassing opinion of irradiation
facilities, importers of any of the products in the seven permitted
categories of food (in particular dried aromatic herbs, spices and vegetable
seasonings) or manufactures of products using these imported ingredients,
enforcement authorities and consumer interest groups.
The Food Irradiation (England) Regulations
2009 will provide for the requirements detailed in Directives 1999/2/EC and
1999/3/EC and will replace The Food (Control of Irradiation) Regulations
1990, explained the FSA.
requirements for irradiated food, according to the agency, will not be
The agency said that
there are areas where the regulations could be made more up-to-date, such as
in the definition of cereals, and it said that the new system aims to reduce
the administrative burden for companies and enforcement officials.
As part of the
consultation the FSA
is seeking views on the categories of food authorised for irradiation in the UK, and is
asking industry if there are any foods that should be added to or removed
from the list.
Currently, in the UK
seven categories of foods can be irradiated including fruit; vegetables;
cereals; bulbs and tubers; spices and condiments (amended as dried aromatic
herbs, spices and vegetable seasonings); fish and shellfish; and poultry.
However, the FSA said
it could consider adding other types of food to the permitted list under
Article 4(5) of Directive 1999/2/EC, but only if this food is already on the
permitted list of another member state.
The agency added that
there were amendments to English regulations in 2000 but these did not
adequately address the national procedures relating to food irradiation
facilities in non-European countries, and so this has to be corrected in the
The agency said that
during the 12-week public consultation phase on the draft regulations and
associated guidance, it also proposes to engage with stakeholders on a less
formal basis, "in particular health food
manufacturers where we are aware of concerns over illegally irradiated
All responses received
as part of the consultation exercise, said the agency, will be given careful
consideration, and will be summarised on its website.
The draft Food
Regulations 2009 document can be downloaded from the FSA website.