Dáil Éireann - Volume 374 - 28 October, 1987
Written Answers. - Irradiated Food Imports.
Mr. Keating Mr. Keating
196. Mr. Keating asked the Minister for Health if he will make a statement with regard to the importation into Ireland of irradiated food, indicating whether or not comprehensive studies have been undertaken with regard to the impact on foodstuffs of such radiation bombardment; if he will insist that such irradiated food be clearly marked; and his views on the existing arrangements in this area.
Minister for Health (Dr. O'Hanlon) Rory O'Hanlon
Minister for Health (Dr. O'Hanlon): Irradiation is a widely accepted technology for the preservation of food and the destruction of harmful food pathogens. Following extensive international research the World Health Organisation, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency have accepted the safety of the process and have approved food irradiation for use on certain foods at specified levels. I am aware that 23 countries have approved food irradiation in respect of 40 foodstuffs and certain of these foodstuffs are imported from these countries from time to time.
By its nature, the process of irradiation does not leave any residue of radiation in  the food and, to date, a detection test for irradiation has not been developed.
Officials of the Department of Health are currently involved in the preparation of an EC Directive to regulate food irradiation, which will include specific labelling requirements.
Dáil Éireann 374 Written Answers. Irradiated Food Imports.