Food labelling laws to go to public consultation

admin, 25 June 2014, No comments
Categories: Uncategorized

In recent weeks clean food advocates have been alerted to the threat of changes to the requirement for labelling of irradiated and GMO foods.  We have now received information from the  Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation Secretariat that changes to labelling will go to a public consultation and  be handled by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand, rather than be at ministerial discretion.

The Blewett Labelling Review (2011) made recommendations to FSANZ:

labellinglogic-blewett report“That as a general principle all foods or ingredients that have been processed by new technologies (i.e., all technologies that trigger pre-market food safety  assessments) be required to be labelled for 30 years from the time of their introduction into the human food chain; the application of this principle to be based on scientific evidence of direct impact on, or modification of, the food/ingredient to be consumed. (Recommendation 28).”

BUT

“Recommendation 34: That the requirement for mandatory labelling of irradiated food be reviewed.”

We expect that the review will take these flawed and contradictory recommendations into consideration.  The final feport – Labelling Logic was publicly released in 2011.

However, this is good news for public transparency and democratic process, giving concerned citizens the right to voice their objections to a relaxing of labelling.  We expect to hear an announcement of the consultation process in the next six months.

Subscribe to our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/notofoodirradiation or visit this site to keep up to date on developments.

Threat to labelling laws may see irradiated and ‘novel’ food technologies unlabelled

admin, 22 May 2014, No comments
Categories: Uncategorized
Australian and New Zealand labelling for irradiated fooods DOES NOT have a standard or mark like the US one (above)

Australian and New Zealand labelling for irradiated foods DOES NOT have a standard or mark like the US one (above)

All indications we have had, from officials and Ministerial letters, are that our governments intend to end irradiation labelling. In our view, improving and strengthening the existing deficient labelling and signage regimes should also be an option for the review.

Issues for consumers regarding removal of labelling include governmental conflicts of interest in approvals, the risk of misrepresentation of irradiated foods as fresh, testing for irradiation involves detecting changes to the food (proving it is a additive, rather than a benign process), current point-of sale signage is inadequate  Health issues include:  insufficient testing of safety,  and new studies indicate nutrient loss and allergy issues.

Read more

Thanks to Canidae pet food – proudly irradiation free

admin, 23 February 2014, No comments
Categories: Uncategorized
http://www.canidae.com.au/

http://www.canidae.com.au/

Cats and dogs have died in Australia and the USA as a result of irradiated food. Congratulations to Australian pet food manufacturer, Canidae, for being irradiation free.  Pet food companies in the US are also now following suit, with increased awareness of the danger to pets from eating irradiated food.

Art Ryan's cats became ill after eatring irradiated food.

Art Ryan’s cats became ill after eating irradiated food.

“the FDA said it will begin testing treats to see whether irradiation of the products may have contributed to reports of treat-related problems ranging from diarrhea and vomiting to kidney failure, Fanconi syndrome and death.

In 2009, the Australian government halted irradiation used to sterilize cat food after reports of paralysis and other problems appeared to be linked to the process. Ninety cats were sickened, of which 30 died, according to press reports at the time.” Read more

Australia: Issues with irradiation

admin, 28 January 2014, No comments
Categories: Uncategorized

tropicalfruitsIn Australia, herbs, spices, herbal infusions (teas), nine tropical fruits (mango, paw paw, lychee, longan, mangosteen, rambutan, carambola, breadfruit and custard apple), persimmons, tomatoes and capsicums have so far been approved for irradiation.

There are 16 further approvals in the pipeline, including: zucchinis, honey dew melons, rockmelons, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, apricots, plums, peaches, table grapes, and apples.

In the US, numerous products, including beef, vegetables, oysters and fruit may be irradiated. Free trade agreements make it likely that more approvals will be pursued in Australia.

Read more

India: row on rays

admin, 28 January 2014, No comments
Categories: Uncategorized

images

Research findings by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad, on the harmful effects of freshly irradiated wheat fed to mice and men, in the mid-’70s, had indicated that irradiation can cause malignant changes in the blood cells. Its observations were reconfirmed by laboratories in West Germany and the UK. Indignant BARC scientists bitterly contested the NIN findings.

“The reservations about food irradiation all over the world should not be lightly brushed aside,” warned Dr C. Gopalan, former chief of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and president of the Nutrition Foundation of India. Read more

NZ Medicos oppose irradiation

admin, 12 December 2013, No comments
Categories: Uncategorized

Physicans & Scientists for Global Responsibility: “recommends Food Standards Austria New Zealand (FSANZ) reject Application A1069.  The food regulation review process of FSANZ has a legislated mandate to protect public health and safety.  In approving this Application, FSANZ would not be meeting this duty of care.

“The safety and nutritional integrity of the proposed irradiated foods is not determined.  Irradiation of tomatoes and capsicums could potentially adversely affect the nutritional value and safety of a significant proportion of fresh foods and processed food supplies in New Zealand and Australia as these products are widely used in dried, canned and frozen processed foods.

Read the full submission here:

http://www.psgr.org.nz/submissions/42-food-standards-australia-new-zealand-fsanz/100-irradiated-tomatoes-and-capsicums-submission-to-fsanz?highlight=WyJpcnJhZGlhdGlvbiJd

How Industry Controls Debate

admin, 12 December 2013, No comments
Categories: Uncategorized

test tube foodFrom Food & Water Watch:  A year ago French microbiologist Gilles-Eric Séralini dared to take a critical look at the safety of genetically engineered crops. He found serious problems in the health of rats fed Monsanto’s NK603 corn, and his findings were published in a prestigious academic journal, following the normal peer-review process.

His article shook up the scientific community, for it appeared to break through the industry stranglehold over the scientific discourse related to its biotech products. As I wrote last year, journal articles written about NK603 prior to the Séralini study were funded by Monsanto and made favorable findings – and several were published in a Monsanto-funded journal. This holds true for much of the research that exists on the safety of biotech crops, which is largely performed or funded by industry. This is also true of the research that regulators review when making approval decisions.

Read more: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/blogs/science-in-crisis-how-industry-controls-the-debate/

Workers Speak Out About the Trans Pacific Partnership

admin, 28 September 2013, No comments
Categories: Uncategorized

tppFood Irradiation is a symptom of an unsustainable inequitable system… Who dictates food regulations – who controls the methods of production? We need to address both the symptoms and the causes!

Watch this video of workers across the Pacific Rim speaking out against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, of which Australia is a negotiating member. The TPP has nothing to do with genuine free trade and everything to do with the interests of the 1% of worldwide corporate power. Read more

Fracking and food don’t mix

admin, 28 September 2013, No comments
Categories: Uncategorized

waterWe already know that fracking threatens human health, the environment, and our communities. But it could also have a negative impact our food system and the farmers who work to feed our nation.

Spills of toxic fracking chemicals can contaminate groundwater and cropland. These leaks could be harmful to livestock as well – last September StateImpact’s Susan Philips reported on a case in Pennsylvania in which 28 beef cattle encountered fracking fluid that seeped out of a holding pond. Those cows gave birth to 11 calves the following spring, but shockingly, only three calves survived. Across the country livestock exposed to toxic fracking chemicals have been killed or sickened.

Read more here:

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/blogs/fracking-and-farming-dont-mix/

40% of food gets wasted – Scientific American

admin, 28 September 2013, No comments
Categories: Uncategorized

foodwaste“The main issue is that consumers not only rely on food dates as a reason for tossing food that is still perfectly edible and safe, but they also seem to believe that all foods will be safe prior to the expiration dates, so they will continue to eat food that has actually been stored or handled unsafely.”

“The report stems from a larger report we worked on, the Wasted Report, where we looked at the drivers and extent of food waste across the country. We landed on expiration dates as one topic that’s driving food waste, and a system that’s not really serving consumers or industry at all.” Read more

About us

Food Irradiation Watch are an independant consumer watchdog, advocating clean, nuclear-free food. We receive no government funding.

FIW are an affiliate group of Friends of the Earth Australia.

On Facebook

Email us at foodirradiationwatch [at] yahoo.com.au

Write: we don’t want irradiated food!

We can send a strong message to our health and agriculture ministers that we don't want to eat irradiated food. Write a letter today. A list of ministers is [here]

What is food irradiation?


Food irradiation is the practice of exposing foods to radiation. In Australia all irradiation plants use Cobalt 60, a nuclear material that emits gamma rays. Herbal teas, spices, tomatoes and some tropical fruits are permitted for irradiation in Australia.

Irradiation changes food in ways that have not been adequately tested for safety. Irradiation depletes food or vitamins and causes the formation of "radiolytic products" whose effect on human health is not known.