PCC | Irradiated foods: Labeling irradiated foods

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Labeling irradiated foods

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Starting in 2003, the USDA began allowing irradiated fruits and vegetables to be imported into the U.S.

All irradiated produce imported from foreign countries is supposed to be labeled, but critics say the U.S. government inspects only one percent of imported food and that irradiated fruits and vegetables may not be labeled as required.

The radura symbol, denoting the product has been irradiated.

All irradiated food must be labeled with the international radura symbol and wording such as "treated with ionizing irradiation."

Labels are required only at the retail level, and they are not required on foods with more than one ingredient. They also are not required on foods served in restaurants, schools, or other institutions.

The FDA has proposed either eliminating labeling altogether or permitting the use of euphemisms such as "cold pasteurization" or "electronic pasteurization."

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