FDA proposes change to irradiation labelling protocols

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Thursday, April 05, 2007

Labelling for irradiated foods would only be required when irradiation causes a “material change” in the food.

In the notice announcing this new proposal from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “material change” is defined as changes in organoleptic, nutritional, or functional properties of a food, caused by irradiation that the consumer could not identify at the point of purchase without appropriate labelling.

The new labelling rules would require those food products with a “material change” not only to be labelled with the radura logo and the term “irradiated”, or a derivative thereof, but also language describing the change in the food or its conditions of use.

The FDA is also proposing to allow manufacturers to petition the agency for use of an alternate term to “irradiation” (other than “pasteurisation”) or the term “pasteurisation” in lieu of “irradiation,” provided the company notifies the agency that the irradiation process being used meets the criteria specified for use of the term “pasteurisation” in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

The proposed rule is in response to a provision in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 and, if finalised, the agency believes will provide consumers with more useful information than the current regulation.