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 Web Site concerning the Banning of Food Irradiation in Australia - Text Version

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Note:   The CCFAC referred to below, is the Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants.  This is a committee of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a joint project of the World Health Organization/Food & Agricultural Organization of the U.N.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission sets the global Standards for food safety.

Despite serious, adverse scientific findings documented below, the CCFAC met in The Hague, March 12-16, 2001 and endorsed a proposal to remove the current dose limit to which food can be irradiated internationally - 10 kiloGray, equivalent to 330 million chest x-rays.  This proposed Draft Revision to the Codex General Standard for Irradiated Foods was listed as Agenda Item 9a (CX/FAC 01/11).


  1. The International Consultative Group on Food Irradiation  (ICGFI), the organization that advises the CCFAC on global  food irradiation policy, ignored its own 1994 recommendation to study the potential toxicity of high dose irradiated food before deciding at its annual meeting in Geneva in November, 2000 to endorse the Proposed  Draft Revision to the Codex General Standard for Irradiated Foods. (Review of Data on High Dose (10-70 kGy) Irradiation of Food.  Report of a Consultation Geneva:  W.H.O., 1995)

  2. A recent in vitro study - funded in part by ICGFI and conducted at the prestigious Federal Research Centre  for Nutrition in Karlsruhe, Germany - revealed that a chemical formed in irradiated food that contains fat (such      as beef and chicken) is "clearly" cytotoxic* and "clearly" genotoxic** to human and rat cells.  The chemical, 2-dodecylcyclobutanone (or 2-DCB), has not been found     naturally in any food anywhere on earth.
    (Delincee, H.
    and Pool-Zobel, B. "Genotoxic Properties of 2-dodecylcyclobutanone, a Compound Formed on Irradiation of Food Containing Fat."  Radiation Physics and Chemistry, 52:39-42, 1998.)

    For reasons yet to be explained the World Health Organization mis-stated and dismissed the findings of this study in its recent  report on high dose irradiated food.
      (High Dose Irradiation.  Report of a Joint FAO/IAEA/WHO Study Group.  Geneva: W.H.O., 1999.)

  3. A recent in vivo study - also funded in part by ICGFI and also conducted at the Federal Research Centre for Nutrition - found that 2-DCB caused "significant DNA damage" to rats that ate the substance.  Researchers stated that these results "should provide impetus for further studies".
    (Delincee, H. et al "Genotoxicity of 2-dodecylcyclobutanone".  Food Irradiation:  Fifth German
    Conference, Karlsruhe, November 11-13, 1998.)

    For reasons that have yet to be explained, neither ICGFI nor the W.H.O. have ever publicly commented on the findings of  this study

  4. Many serious questions raised by a W.H.O. researcher in 1969 regarding the potential toxicity, carcinogenicity and mutagenicity of irradiated food - a researcher who feared a thalidomide-type disaster - have yet to be sufficiently answered.  (Schubert, J. "Mutagenicity and Cytotoxicity of Irradiated Foods and Food Components", Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 41:873-893, 1969.)

Irradiation is powerless to kill the prion that causes 'mad cow disease'.


(Comments of Mark Worth, Senior Researcher, Public Citizen's Critical Mass Energy & Environmental Programme to: Public Meeting Addressing the Codex Committee on Food Additives & Contaminants, U.S. Department of Agriculture/U.S. Food and Drug Administration, February 13, 2001, Federal Office Building 8, Washington D.C.)

"High Dose Irradiation", WHO, 1999 also confirms that high dose irradiation destroys vitamins and other nutrients, often to a significant degree.

On the 'References Page' of this Website, is a sample only of additional, scientific research which finds against assertions that irradiated food is safe and wholesome.


*     Causes cellular damage

**     Causes genetic damage

Mark Worth's "Comments" can be read in full at Public Citizen's Critical Mass Energy & Environmental Programme website under Food Irradiation:

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