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Irradiated Foods

Volume 87: debated on Tuesday 26 November 1985

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if Her Majesty's Government have yet received the report of the advisory committee on irradiated and novel foods; and when he expects this report to be published;(2) what advice has been given to ports and customs authorities regarding possible attempts at importation of irradiated foodstuffs into the United Kingdom;(3) what cases of alleged irradiated foodstuffs have been detected by port authorities and by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise; and what action has been taken;(4) if it is permitted to offer for sale imported foods which have been treated with ionising radiation; and what measures are taken to control such imports.

I have been asked to reply.I understand that the advisory committee's report on food irradiation will soon be presented to my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Social Services and the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. We expect to publish the report early in 1986.In the United Kingdom, the importation and marketing of irradiated foods are at present prohibited by regulations, the enforcement of which is the responsibility of the port health and local authorities. No advice on enforcement has been issued by the Department and no information is held centrally about the activities of enforcement authorities.