[Date Prev][Date Next]
[cdn-nucl-l] Irradiation is Up-and-Coming
Posted in Meat News.com on May 8, 2003 and at:
Irradiation is Up-and-Coming
Use of irradiation technology is essential for the food industry, conference
"To not use [food irradiation] technology would not only be a disservice to
present generations, but to future generations as well," Dr. Gerald Moy,
staff scientist of the Food Safety Programme for the World Health
Organisation, told attendees during the opening presentations at the First
World Congress on Food Irradiation, held in Chicago, USA, in conjunction
with the Food Marketing Institute's annual show.
The 150 attendees from 15 countries reacted favourably to the positive news
on the technology.
The Congress, presented by the National Food Safety and Toxicology Centre,
Michigan State University, was co-sponsored by the Food Marketing Institute,
National Food Processors Association, Grocery Manufacturers of America, and
the International Union of Food Science and Technology.
Paisan Loaharanu, an international consultant and former head of the Food
and Environmental Protection Joint FAO/IAEA Division, conceived and
organised the meeting to bring together the forces needed to propel the
latest research findings and data into the public view and emphasise the
need for education on the safety and advantages of the technology,
particularly the need for worldwide acceptance of food products treated with
Mr Loaharanu told the group that 20 countries are actually using irradiated
food products and it is approved for use in 50 countries.
He said that most of the mechanisms for the trade of irradiated food are in
place, but products are lacking, encouraging processors to use the
technology more rapidly.
Mr Loaharanu also stressed, as did other presenters, the importance of
moving irradiation out of the category of additive and into the process
category where it belongs.
"Codex Alimentaris already recognises irradiation as a process," he said.
"There is no more excuse to regulate food irradiation as an additive and the
type of product treated should not have to be approved individually."
Whether the product is chicken, pork, or beef, strawberries, or melons
should not be an issue in the approval process, he said.
Dr. Elsa Murano, U.S. Under Secretary for Food Safety, was the keynote
speaker. She addressed USDA's commitment to the technology as one of the
crucial elements in the Department's plans for safer food from farm-to-fork.
She said that the Department is moving to accelerate approval of
intervention technologies and to educate the public about the safety of
irradiated food products. Dr. Murano also said that the Food Safety and
Inspection Service is moving ahead to permit implementation of the mandate
presented in the 2002 Farm Bill to make irradiated products available to the
Federal school lunch programme.
Tim Hammonds, CEO of the Food Marketing Institute, told the group that
Wegmans supermarkets was the first U.S retailer to actually introduce
irradiated meat in the open with full fan-fare and public education and that
consumer response has been incredibly strong and positive. As a result, the
chain has just been given the Black Pearl award from the Society of Food
The Congress is due to conclude with tours of the SureBeam electron beam and
Guardion/IBA gamma irradiation facilities in the Chicago area.
Web posted: May 8, 2003
Category: Food Safety,Marketing