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Saying NO to irradiated Blueberries and Raspberries!

The NSW government has made an Application to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to irradiate blueberries and raspberries. These berries are considered by many to be “superfoods” and valued for their high antioxidant levels, anthocyanin and Vitamin C content.

Irradiation would see these tiny berries exposed to ionising radiation at doses ranging from 150 Gray (Gy) – 1 kGy. This is equivalent to exposing them to approximately 1.5 million – 10 million chest X-rays (calculated at the low end of chest X-ray exposure).

Ionising radiation changes the molecular structure of food, producing free-radicals, depleting antioxidants such as vitamin C and nutrition, and creating chemical compounds unique to radiation exposure. Numerous scientific studies have shown potential health risks associated with irradiating food. In fact, in 2008 -2009 up to one hundred Australian cats developed neurological disorders linked to the consumption of irradiated cat food. The risk to humans has not been ruled out.

Make a submission to say NO! to irradiated blueberries and raspberries:

Some points you might like to include:

  • Blueberries and raspberries are considered superfoods for their naturally high levels of antioxidants and nutrients.
  • Irradiation produces free radicals while reducing vitamins and anti-oxidants such as vitamin C.
  • The safety of irradiated food is disputed. Numerous scientific studies highlight risks associated with irradiation.
  • Irradiation is unnecessary for pest control as numerous alternatives exist.
  • Labelling is not guaranteed as labelling is currently under review.

Submissions close 6pm Canberra time (AEST) on August 10, 2016.

Here is a sample letter: Please use this letter as a base. Adding your own comments will ensure that your letter is counted! You can download the letter here in Word format: sample letter blueberries.

To: Food Standards Australia New Zealand
Email: submissions@foodstandards.gov.au
CC: Your state/ territory Health Minister & the federal Health Minister
RE: Reject Application A1115: Stop the irradiation of Blueberries and Raspberries.

I oppose the irradiation of blueberries and raspberries. I, therefore, call on you to reject Application A1115 for the irradiation of Raspberries and Blueberries and to ensure that it is not approved.

The NSW government has made an Application to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to irradiate blueberries and raspberries. These berries are considered by many to be “superfoods” and valued for their high antioxidant levels, anthocyanin and Vitamin C content.

Irradiation would see these tiny berries exposed to ionising radiation at doses ranging from 150 Gray (Gy) – 1 kGy. This is equivalent to exposing them to approximately 1.5 million – 10 million chest X-rays (calculated at the low end of chest X-ray exposure).

Ionising radiation changes the molecular structure of food, producing free-radicals, depleting antioxidants such as vitamin C and nutrition, and creating chemical compounds unique to radiation exposure.

Numerous scientific studies have shown potential health risks associated with irradiating food. In fact, in 2008 -2009 up to one hundred Australian cats developed neurological disorders linked to the consumption of irradiated cat food. The risk to humans has not been ruled out.

Irradiation is not necessary for quarantine purposes of pest management as both radiation-free and chemical-free options exist.

Once exposed to high levels of ionising radiation, these fruits prized for their natural goodness can no longer be considered “fresh” – they will appear fresh, but in fact be “processed.

Finally, I am not confident that I will be able to distinguish between irradiated and non-irradiated food as labelling requirements are under review. There is no assurance in this application that labelling requirements will remain. Irradiated food must be labelled “treated with radiation” or “irradiated –‘

I call on you to reject A1115 as it is not in the public interest. I look forward to your response and to working with you to keep our food nutritious, healthy and safe for all Australians and New Zealanders.

Thank you,
Name & Date:
Address (email & postal) & Phone number:

HOW TO MAKE A SUBMISSION

Make sure you write ‘Submission’ and quote the correct project number and name: A1115 Irradiation of blueberries and raspberries.

FSANZ also requests your name and contact details, address, email, phone, organisation and position (if applicable)

You can send your submission electronically through the FSANZ website:
http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/code/changes/submission/Pages/SubmissionForm.aspx
OR
email your submission directly to: submissions@foodstandards.gov.au.

Food regulations must pass through the Ministerial Council before becoming law. Each state has at least one state MP on the Council which means each of us have a representative on the Council who can say NO! Let the ministers and decision makers know how you feel about irradiation and labelling to help make a decision in favour of shoppers’ rights. Please make a submission via Food Standards Australia New Zealand and also send your message to your state or territory’s members as well as federal reps. The Ministerial list is below.

Please send your message to your state or territory’s members as well as federal reps. The “Lead” ministers addresses are here.
Australian Federal Government:
The Hon Dr David Gillespie MP
E-mail: David.Gillespie.MP@aph.gov.au

Hon Barnaby Joyce, MP
Minister for Agriculture
minister@maff.gov.au

New Zealand:
Hon Jo Goodhew
Minister for Food Safety
jo.goodhew@parliament.govt.nz

ACT:
Mr Simon Corbell
Minister for Health
E: corbell@act.gov.au

NSW:
The Hon Niall Blair, MLC
Minister for Primary Industries
E: niall.blair@parliament.nsw.gov.au

NT:
Lead Minister:
The Hon John Elferink, MLA
Email: Minister.Elferink@nt.gov.au
QLD:
The Hon Cameron Dick, MP
Minister for Health
E: health@ministerial.qld.gov.au

SA:
Hon Jack Snelling, MP
Minister for Health and Ageing
minister.health@health.sa.gov.au

TAS:
Hon Michael Ferguson, MP
Minister for Health
michael.ferguson@parliament.tas.gov.au

VIC:
The Hon Jill Hennessy, MP
Minister for Health
E: minister.health@health.vic.gov.au

WA:
Hon Dr Kim Hames, MLA MBBS, JP
Minister for Health
kim.hames@mp.wa.gov.au

Australian Local Government Association:
Mayor Troy Pickard
President
Email: troy.pickard@joondalup.wa.gov.au