What is food irradiation?
Food Irradiation is the process of exposing food to ionising radiation from Cobalt-60, X-rays or electron beams. The food is mostly treated to neutralise pest insects or microbes, and to extend its shelf life.
The Australian government has allowed food irradiation since 2001 after a 10-year moratorium was lifted. Since then, Australia and New Zealand government-supported industry campaigns have promoted irradiation as an ’alternative’ to pesticides. Irradiated food is labelled, albeit inadequately. There has been an ongoing push to remove mandatory labelling requirements.