Food Irradiation

Formal titles: Docket Number [2005N-0272] Irradiation in the Production, Processing and Handling of Food. Docket Number [FDA-2007-D-0207] Guidance for Industry: Microbiological Considerations for Antimicrobial Food Additive Submissions; Availability

Brief Description:

On April 4, 2007 the FDA published a proposed rule to revise its labeling regulations applicable to foods (including dietary supplements) for which irradiation has been approved by FDA pasteurization. The proposed rule would require that irradiated foods be labeled as such, only if the irradiation caused a material change (ie, nutritional, organoleptic, or functional properties) in the food that the consumer could not identify at the point of purchase. In addition, the proposed rule would allow marketers to use the term "pasteurized" in lieu of "irradiated," when the marketer has shown the FDA that the criteria have been met for pasteurization as defined in the Federal Food, Drugs and Cosmetic Act, and if the FDA does not object.

The AVMA supports the FDA proposed rule to revise labeling regulations applicable to irradiated foods to improve food safety and food quality pasteurization. The AVMA supports the FDA proposed rule that would revise labeling regulations applicable to irradiated foods. Furthermore, the AVMA agrees with FDA's second proposal to allow food labels to state "pasteurized" in lieu of "irradiated," provided that the marketer gains approval to do so from the FDA. The AVMA commends the FDA for the scientific basis of food irradiation labeling requirements and believes that the FDA provides excellence in its safeguarding of the public's food and drugs, including animal feeds and drugs.

Background Documents:

View April 4, 2007 Federal Register document (PDF)

View June 25, 2008 Federal Register document (PDF)


AVMA responded on June 6, 2007. (PDF)