Iowa Public Television


FDA Considers Easing Labeling of Irradiated Foods

posted on April 7, 2006

The Food and Drug Administration is considering relaxing its rules on the labeling of irradiated foods. The government agency is proposing a rule that would require companies to label irradiated food only when the radiation treatment causes a change in taste, texture, smell or shelf life of a product.

Irradiation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, is the process of "treating food with ionizing radiation that can kill bacteria and parasites that would otherwise cause foodborne disease."

The FDA has proposed letting companies use the term "pasteurized" to describe irradiate foods. Opponents of allowing the labeling change include the executive director of Food & Water Watch who says, "The move would deny consumers clear information about whether they are buying food that has been exposed to high doses of ionizing radiation."

FDA will accept public comments on the proposal for 90 days.

Tags: agriculture food food safety government news radiation