April 5, 2007


FDA seeks to revise food-labelling regulations



The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to revise labelling regulations regarding foods for which irradiation has already been approved by the FDA.

Under the proposal, only those foods that have undergone a change in their organoleptic, nutritional or functional properties after irradiation may bear the radura logo and the term "irradiated" or a derivative thereof, in conjunction with explicit language describing the change in the food or its conditions of use.


FDA is also proposing to allow firms to petition it to use a term other than "irradiation" or "pasteurised". A further FDA proposal involves allowing a firm to use a "pasteurised" label instead of "irradiated", on condition that it notifies the agency that the irradiation process being used meets the criteria specified for use of the term "pasteurised" in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.


While these proposals do not affect irradiation labelling of red meat or poultry, which falls under USDA's jurisdiction, industry participants said that USDA could call for a similar proposal for meat and poultry should the FDA proposal be eventually finalised.


The FDA and USDA have agreed to coordinate their irradiation regulations.