we can still stop food irradiation

Food irradiation is the practice of exposing foods to radiation. In Australia all irradiation plants use Cobalt 60, a nuclear material that emits gamma rays. Herbal teas, spices and some tropical fruits are permitted for irradiation in Australia.

Irradiation changes food in ways that have not been adequately tested for safety. Irradiation depletes food or vitamins and causes the formation of "radiolytic products" whose effect on human health is not known.

Further information here.

If this concerns you please send a letter. Details below.

Food regulations must pass through the Ministerial Council before becoming law. Each state has at least one STATE MP on the Council. The contact details for all members of the Ministerial Council are below.

We suggest you send your comments to your state or territory’s local member/s as well as federal representatives, prioritizing Catherine King – Parliamentary Secretary for Health…

Ministerial contact details and a sample letter is below:


Dear Member of the Australia New Zealand Food Ministerial Council,

On March 19, Food Standards Australia New Zealand announced its approval of Application A1069, for the irradiation of tomatoes and capsicums.

As a member of the Ministerial Council you have final decision making power over this approval.   I call on you to reject this application as the irradiation of these popular foods is not in the public interest.

The irradiation of food has not been proven safe.  I am extremely concerned that FSANZ continues to ignore scientific evidence highlighting the problems with irradiation, including vitamin depletion and the production of radiolytic products – chemicals formed in food when it is exposed to radiation, such as benzene, formaldehyde and cyclobutanones.

In 2009, the irradiation of cat food was outlawed in Australia after up to 100 cats developed neurological disorders after consuming irradiated cat food.  There is no science proving this effect to be species specific, however, the irradiation of food for human consumption is still permitted in Australia and New Zealand.

Furthermore, while I applaud the government for its decision to phase out the uses of some pesticides, I vehemently oppose the promotion of irradiation as the “alternative”.  Numerous alternatives exist, including other chemical treatments, physical disinfestation, creation of pest-free zones and organic production.

I also am alarmed that FSANZ appears to function as a defacto promoter of irradiation, rather than a judicious adjudicator on the matter.  FSANZ continues to ignore scientific modelling and consumer information that challenges its pro-irradiation stance.

As a member of the Ministerial Council, you have responsibility to ensure safe and healthy food for our community and to prioritise that over food corporation interests.

The irradiation of tomatoes and capsicums poses a risk to our community and is not in the public interest. A1069 must be rejected.

I look forward to hearing your response to my concerns,

Yours faithfully,

Australian Government:

Hon Tanya Plibersek MP
Minister for Health and Ageing
150 Broadway, Chippendale NSW  2008 [email protected]au

The Hon Catherine King, MP
Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing
PO Box 6022, House of Representatives
Parliament House Canberra  ACT 2600
[email protected]

Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
GPO Box 2477, Brisbane QLD 4001 [email protected]

New Zealand:

The Hon Nikki Kaye. MP,Minister for Food Safety
P.O. Box 47-658,Ponsonby
Auckland 1144  New Zealand
[email protected]govt.nz

Australian State & Territory Reps


Lead Minister: The Hon Lawrence Springborg, MP
Minister for Health
GPO Box 48, Brisbane QLD 4001
[email protected]

The Hon John McVeigh MP
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
GPO Box 46, Brisbane QLD 4001
[email protected]gov.au


Lead Minister: Ms Katrina Hodgkinson, MP
Minister for Primary Industries
Level 30 Governor Macquarie Tower
1 Farrer Place, Sydney NSW 2000 [email protected]nsw.gov.au

Mrs Jillian Skinner, MP, Minister for Health
Level 31 Governor Macquarie Tower
1 Farrer Place, Sydney NSW 2000
[email protected]gov.au


The Hon David Tollner, MLA, Minister for Health
GPO Box 3146 Darwin NT 0801
Email: [email protected]


Lead Minister: The Hon David Davis, MLC
Minister for Health
Shop 4, 976 Riversdale Rd., Surrey Hills VIC 3127
[email protected]gov.au

The Hon Peter Walsh, MP
Minister for Agriculture and Food Security
Level 20,1 Spring Street, Melbourne  VIC 3000
[email protected]gov.au


Lead Minister: The Hon Dr Kim Hames, MB BS JP MLA, Minister for Health
PO Box 5551 Falcon WA  6210
[email protected]

The Hon Terry Redman, MLA
Minister for Agriculture and Food
11th Floor, Dumas House
2 Havelock Street, West Perth WA 6005
[email protected]


Lead Minister:  The Hon Michelle O’Byrne, MP
Minister for Health
GPO Box 1470, Hobart TAS 7000
Michelle.O’[email protected]tas.gov.au


Ms Katy Gallagher, MLA
Minister for Health
GPO Box 1020, Canberra ACT 2601
[email protected]


Lead Minister: The Hon Jack Snelling, MP
Minister for Health and Ageing
GPO Box 2555 Adelaide SA 5001
Email:     [email protected]au

The Hon Gail Gago, MLC
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries
GPO Box 464 Adelaide SA 5001
Email:     [email protected]

Australian Local Government Association:
Councillor Bill McArthur
Golden Plains Shire
President of the Municipal Association of Victoria
PO Box 111,Bannockburn VIC 3331