Irradiated food labelling a joke | The Jackal

26 Jun 2013

Irradiated food labelling a joke

Last Sunday, the NZ Herald reported:

Irradiated Australian tomatoes and capsicums will arrive for the first time on shop shelves soon.

Public submissions closed last Friday, and a decision to change import health standards to allow the irradiated produce, to prevent the spread of Queensland fruit fly, is expected early next month.

The Ministry for Primary Industries says all irradiated produce must be clearly labelled, whether it is a whole vegetable or a slice of tomato in pizza or a burger.

Today, the Ministry for Primary Industries released its actual Labelling Requirements for Irradiated Food (PDF), and I was disappointed to learn that there's no real requirement for exactly how the irradiated food is labelled.

There is no prescribed wording, so irradiators can pretty much write whatever they want. In addition to this so-called labelling, the international symbol of irradiation known as the radura may or may not be included.

Isn't it pretty? Most people won't even know what this symbol stands for FFS! Here's an article that gives a number of good reasons for why you should avoid any potentially irradiated food.