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NFPA SUPPORTS NEW FDA FOOD IRRADIATION PROPOSAL

 NFPA SUPPORTS NEW FDA FOOD IRRADIATION PROPOSAL
 WASHINGTON, May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- A proposed rule that would


allow the use of radiant energy to control and reduce harmful bacteria in poultry "will be of great benefit to consumers and the food industry alike," the National Food Processors Association (NFPA) said today.
 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.
 "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."
 More than 35 countries have approved irradiation as a safe food treatment technology. Irradiated foods -- ranging from fish and chicken to fruits and vegetables -- are on the market in France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Israel, Japan and other nations. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also approved food irradiation for a number of applications.
 Dr. Lester Crawford, NFPA's executive vice president for 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. "Moreover, it can reduce spoilage and keep foods fresher for longer periods of time, reducing food waste and maintaining the nutritional value of fresh foods."
 Crawford stressed that food irradiation is a safe technology that poses no risks for consumer. "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- 5/6/92
 /CONTACT: Timothy Willard of the National Food Processors Association, 202-637-8060/ CO: National Food Processors Association ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


TW -- DC047 -- 7310 05/06/92 17:19 EDT
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Date:May 6, 1992
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