EMAIL SIGN UP!
The press releases posted here have been submitted by
For further information or to comment on this press release, please contact the organization directly.
Most Popular This Week
Today's Top News
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Food & Water Watch
GAO Report Critical of FDA Food Irradiation Policies; Calls for Increased Transparency on Controversial Technology
Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter
WASHINGTON - March 23 - “A new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA’s) oversight of food irradiation highlights the agency’s lackluster performance. The report details poor communication by the FDA about decisions and policy on this controversial technology. Since the GAO has historically been an advocate for irradiation, it is telling that the report does not encourage the FDA to expand the use of this technology; but rather urges the agency to better communicate the status of pending petitions for further use of food irradiation.”
“The report also discusses further research that could be performed on the potential formation of furan, a possible carcinogen, in irradiated foods. Before the FDA moves forward with any of the pending petitions to allow irradiation for more food types, the agency must rule out the potential for elevated furan formation during the irradiation process.”
“In addition, the GAO report examines the issue of irradiated food labeling requirements. The report concludes that proposed changes to labeling rules for irradiated food could increase the amount of food irradiated (with the resulting increase in business being the primary reason why the food irradiation industry has pushed for this change for more than a decade). Right now, the FDA is considering a proposed rule that would allow irradiated food to be labeled as “pasteurized” or be sold without labeling at all, despite numerous polls and focus groups revealing that consumers consider the use of the word “pasteurized” on irradiated food labels to be misleading. Twice in the last decade, the FDA has considered proposals that would weaken labeling requirements for irradiated food – proposals which tens of thousands of consumers have urged the agency not to adopt . In 2007, for example, 73 percent of respondents in a national poll rejected the FDA’s proposed labeling changes as too radical.”
“The FDA has been tasked with ensuring the safety of consumers, not promoting irradiated food at the behest of an industry seeking to sell its product. The FDA must guarantee that consumers are receiving accurate information about the food they purchase.”
“The GAO was correct in calling on the FDA to be more transparent about its food irradiation decision-making. The FDA can start by throwing out its proposal to eliminate labeling requirements for irradiated food.”