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A443 Initial Ass Exec Summary

19 September 2001

04/02

INITIAL ASSESSMENT REPORT

(PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT - SECTION 13)

Full Report [ pdf 96kb ]

SUMMARY

This is an initial assessment report only and based on available information provided by the Applicant. The assessment is designed to assist in identifying the affected parties, any alternative regulatory options, and the potential impacts of any regulatory or non-regulatory provisions. The information needed to make an assessment of this application will include information from public submissions. Public submissions are invited on this initial assessment report.

An application has been received from Surebeam Australia Pty Ltd to amend the Food Standards Code to permit the irradiation of tropical fruits (Breadfruit, Carambola, Custard Apple, Litchi, Longan, Mango, Mangosteen, Papaya and Rambutan) using machine sourced e-beams and x-rays as a phytosanitary treatment against fruit fly hosts and other critical quarantine pests.

Approval of irradiation for the above tropical fruits would provide an alternative treatment to existing techniques (such as chemical treatments) and facilitate access to New Zealand markets for Australian tropical fruit growers.

ANZFA' s objectives in developing food regulatory measures and variations of food regulatory measures are, in descending priority order:

  • the protection of public health and safety;
  • the provision of adequate information relating to food to enable consumers to make informed choices; and
  • the prevention of misleading or deceptive conduct.

In developing and varying such measures, ANZFA must also have regard to:

  • the need for standards to be based on risk analysis using the best available scientific evidence;
  • the promotion of consistency between domestic and international food standards;
  • the desirability of an efficient and internationally competitive food industry; and
  • the promotion of fair trading in food.

ANZFA will seek to fulfil these objectives in considering the proposed variation to the food regulatory measure that is the subject of this Application. In particular, ANZFA will focus on considering whether tropical fruits that are irradiated are completely safe for human consumption, whether there are any significant effects on vitamins and minerals due to irradiation and whether the technique is fully justified, efficacious and has the support of Australian and New Zealand Quarantine agencies.

ANZFA will consult widely on this application, will engage stakeholders with interest in the application, will thoroughly analyse the public submissions received, and will perform an extensive scientific evaluation of the safety, nutrition, technological need and efficacy of the irradiation process.

It should be noted that any approval granted under this application would apply to the relevant foods produced in Australia and New Zealand and the relevant foods imported by either country and would allow not only the Applicant but also any other approved irradiation facility to treat these particular foods with ionising radiation from gamma rays, X-rays from machine sources or electrons from machine sources as permitted by the Standard.

All products treated in this way will need to be labelled as having been treated with ionising radiation.

Full Report [ pdf 96kb ]

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