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Irradiated, illegal and on sale near you!

7th May 2001

Irradiated food products are illegally being sold in the UK despite retailers' claims that their food is not irradiated, reports the Food Magazine today.

Laboratory tests found several irradiated products from leading supermarkets and health food stores. These products included spices from Sharwoods and from Fiddes Payne, cheese from Sainsbury's, a veggie-burger mix from Haldane, and ginseng capsules from Holland & Barrett.

Out of 18 samples of frozen prawns, seven (nearly 40%) had been irradiated. None had the required labelling declarations on the packaging -- and one (the ginseng) claimed it was not irradiated.

Companies are now removing their products and reviewing their suppliers' credentials.

'Good food doesn't need irradiating,' said Kath Dalmeny of the Food Commission. 'The supermarkets know that customers don't want irradiated food. The reputable parts of the food industry don't want it either. But irradiation is creeping in by the back door thanks to unscrupulous traders. We need stronger enforcement of the law and tougher penalties to stop these illegal activities in the food trade.'

The Food Commission is launching a new Food Irradiation Campaign to raise awareness of the trade in irradiated products and the need to put consumer concerns at the top of the food agenda.

 

The following pages may also be of interest

  • Campaigns: Food Irradiation project
    The Food Irradiation Campaign was a long running campaign designed to prevent the unnecessary irradiation of food in the UK. The campaign made clear that, 'good food does not need irradiating'.