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Irradiated Food

Volume 129: debated on Tuesday 15 March 1988

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what representations he has received concerning the effects on the nutritional value of food of the use of irradiation; and if he will make a statement;(2) what action he intends to take to ensure that the nutritutional value of food is not reduced because of the use of irradiation; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 14 March 1988]: Both international expert committees and the United Kingdom Advisory Committee on Irradiated and Novel Foods have advised that the irradiation of food up to an overall dose of 10 kilo gray presents no toxological hazard and introduces no special nutritional or microbiological problems. This view was reaffirmed by ACINF in its further advice to Ministers given after considering the technical representations made during consultation. As part of its ACINF has recommended that the pattern and extent of use of food irradiation should be monitored, and new nutritional data on irradiated foods kept under review.The need to monitor the effects of irradiated food is one of the factors that will be taken into account as part of the further work, referred to in the reply given by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security, my hon. Friend the Member for Derbyshire, South (Mrs. Currie), to the hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Davies) on 4 March at column

762, now being carried out to examine the scope and format of controls necessary to enable the phased introduction of food irradiation in this country.