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NATIONAL FOOD PROCESSORS ASSOCIATION SUPPORTS USDA POULTRY IRRADIATION PROPOSAL

 NATIONAL FOOD PROCESSORS ASSOCIATION SUPPORTS
 USDA POULTRY IRRADIATION PROPOSAL
 WASHINGTON, July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- A proposed rule that would allow the use of radiant energy to control and reduce harmful bacteria in poultry will benefit both consumers and the food industry, according to the National Food Processors Association (NFPA).
 On May 6, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) proposed to amend existing poultry inspection regulations to permit the use of food irradiation to treat fresh or frozen uncooked poultry and poultry products. Poultry would be exposed to low doses of radiant energy in order to control and reduce foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes that may be present in raw poultry, thus reducing the potential for foodborne illness.
 In comments on the proposed rule filed with FSIS, NFPA stated, "Irradiation has been determined by FDA to be a safe process for reducing or eliminating microbiological contamination of food products." NFPA encouraged FSIS to allow the industry to use irradiation as an additional tool to help assure the safest possible food supply.
 "Food irradiation can help provide a better, safer, and more economical food supply," said NFPA President John R. Cady. "Scientific evidence strongly supports the safety of the process, as well as the many benefits it offers."
 Dr. Lester Crawford, NFPA's executive vice president, scientific affairs, noted that the proposed rule is an important step toward improving the safety of the nation's food supply, already the safest in the world. "Irradiation has been proved to be a safe technology for reducing harmful bacteria in foods, and its use could significantly reduce food-related illnesses in this country," he said.
 Crawford stressed that food irradiation is a safe technology that poses no risks for consumers. "The World Health Organization, the FDA and the American Medical Association all agree, based on the considerable body of scientific evidence, that low-dose food irradiation -- at levels approved by the FDA -- presents no health risk," he pointed out.
 NFPA is the scientific voice of the food industry. The association's three research laboratories serve NFPA's 500 members, manufacturers of the nation's processed-packaged fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, seafood, juices and drinks, and specialty products.
 -0- 7/8/92
 /CONTACT: Timothy Willard of the National Food Processors Association, 202-637-8060/ CO: National Food Processors Association ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


KD-TW -- DC024 -- 7580 07/08/92 16:48 EDT
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Date:Jul 8, 1992
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