F.D.A. to propose label revisions for irradiated foods

by Keith Nunes
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WASHINGTON — In the April 4 Federal Register, the Food and Drug Administration plans to issue a proposal to revise its labeling regulations for foods that have been treated with irradiation. The agency is proposing that only foods in which irradiation "causes a material change in the food, or a material change in the consequences that may result from the use of the food, bear the radura logo and the term ‘irradiated.’"

The F.D.A. defined the phrase "material change" to refer to a change in the organoleptic, nutritional or functional properties of a food, caused by irradiation that a consumer could not identify at the point of purchase in the absence of appropriate labeling. In addition, the F.D.A. may allow companies to petition the agency for use of an alternate term to irradiation, other than pasteurized. Companies may use the term pasteurized instead of irradiated if a company notifies the agency that the irradiation process being used meets the criteria specified by the agency for use of the term pasteurized.

The F.D.A. will accept comments on the proposal 90 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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