Ban Food Irradiation

It is well over 30 years since LeftPress printed leaflets that cautioned people against food irradiation. The campaign to stamp it out continues. Why is it taking so long for food companies and governments to get the message provided by science so many years ago?

Numerous studies have shown the potential health risks posed by irradiated food. The approval of regularly eaten fruit and vegetables could significantly increase the amount of irradiated food in our diet.

In 2003, concerns over the safety of irradiated food led the European Union Irradiation to rule out further irradiation approvals. The Australian Senate followed suit with a call for approvals to be halted until further research has been conducted. Claims that irradiated foods are safe are indefensible as no research on long term consumption of an irradiated diet have been conducted.

Irradiation has been shown to deplete vitamin C, vitamin A, proteins, essential fatty acids and other nutrients in food and has been linked to health problems such as nutritional deficiencies, immune system disorders, abnormal lymph cells, and genetic damage.

In 2008-9, irradiation was responsible for neurological disorders leading to paralysis and in some cases, death, of up to one hundred Australian pet cats. Irradiated cat food is now banned in Australia. The European Food Safety Authority acknowledges that the risk to humans cannot be ruled out.

While irradiation is promoted as beneficial to Australian farmers; each approval also enables irradiated imports from overseas. Irradiation is a tool of large agri-business – and supports mass production system  that diminish the power of local food producers and destroy local markets.

Irradiation will not eliminate the use of chemicals and pesticides in crop production; it will be used in conjunction with these and other food processes. 

Finally, I am not confident that these fruits will be adequately labelled. This will lead to foods being marketed as “fresh” though they are processed. Irradiated food and their packages must be individually labelled “treated with radiation” or “irradiated.“ A1092 does not assure me that this will be the case. For these reasons I call on you to reject 1193 and to rescind all previous irradiation approval. Thank you,………….

Submissions need to be made in writing; be marked clearly with the word ‘Submission’ AND quote the project number and name in the subject line: “A1193: Irradiation as a phytosanitary measure for all fresh fruit and vegetables”

                 Email your submission directly


Please cc in your state MP representative on the Australia New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation- and too.