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Application A413 - Preliminary Assessment


Request to Include Herbs and Spices, Nuts, Oil Seeds and Teas in Standard A-17 - Irradiation of Food in the Australian Food Standards Code


11 October 2000


Issues Paper and Call for Public Submissions




This Issues Paper is the ' Preliminary Assessment ' referred to in Section 13 of the Australian New Zealand Authority Act (1991).
Public comments are now sought to enable a comprehensive assessment by the Authority. Details about Food Standards Setting in Australia and New Zealand are contained in

Appendix 6.


Full Report [ pdf 113kb ]


Steritech Pty Ltd has sought approval from the Australia New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) for a variation from ANZFA Standard A -17 Irradiation of Food to allow for the irradiation of nuts, oilseeds, herbs and spices and teas for reasons related to disinfection, disinfestation, sprout inhibition and weed control.

Standard A -17 prohibits the irradiation of food unless specific permission is given on a case-by-case basis, and the irradiation meets a technological need or is necessary for food safety reasons. Case-by-case consideration of applications for the irradiation of foods is subject to the normal statutory processes followed by ANZFA and, following the assessment by ANZFA, approval of a recommendation to the Australian and New Zealand Ministers of Health acting together as the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Council (ANZFSC).

A copy of the application is available for viewing on the ANZFA Public Register. In this case, the applicant has also provided the application electronically and agreed that it be placed on the ANZFA website.

This Issues Paper is a preliminary document in the consideration of this application. It has been prepared by ANZFA, in association with representatives from interested agencies in Australia and New Zealand. It presents an overview of the application and some associated issues, to identify issues of potential interest to stakeholders in Australia and New Zealand and as a base from which to give full consideration to this application. The issues identified thus far include food safety, nutrition, labelling, the efficacy of the treatment, dosimetry, detection methods, facilities, regulatory and international issues, and the potential regulatory impact of the requested approval.

The paper includes information about the requirements of Standard A17 - Irradiation of Food and the requirements applicants must meet if permission to irradiate these foods is to be granted. It also includes information on food irradiation and the use of food irradiation in other countries, and information on ANZFA and the role of the Authority and its responsibilities in assessing this application.

ANZFA recognises that the issues and questions raised in the paper may not be comprehensive. Accordingly, in releasing this preliminary assessment for public comment, ANZFA invites the submission of views and information on any matter covered in the paper or otherwise related to this application.

ANZFA' s role, in collaboration with others, is to protect the health and safety of people in Australia and New Zealand through the maintenance of a safe food supply. In carrying out this function, ANZFA seeks to ensure that its regulatory measures are based on sound scientific evidence. ANZFA will review all submissions and associated material on this basis, and give full consideration to the evidence and technical data accompanying each submission.

The deadline for submissions in this initial round of consultations is 6 December 2000.

There will be a further round of consultation in the first quarter of 2001, based on ANZFA s consideration of the issues raised in the initial round of consultations.


Full Report [ pdf 113kb ]


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