FDA approves irradiation of iceberg lettuce, spinach

first_img Under the FDA rule, packages of irradiated lettuce and spinach—like other irradiated food products—will have to bear the radura logo and one of two statements: “treated with radiation” or “treated by irradiation.” Aug 21, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved the use of irradiation to kill pathogens in fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce, which were linked to Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreaks that sickened hundreds of people in the fall of 2006. Iceberg lettuce and spinach now join meat, poultry, molluscan shellfish, and dried spices on the list of foods that can be irradiated for safety in the United States, said FDA spokesman Sebastian Cianci. The FDA action does not include other varieties of lettuce. The approval was sought by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), formerly the National Food Processors Association, Cianci told CIDRAP News. Back in 2000, the group had petitioned for approval of irradiation for a wide range of foods, including raw vegetables and fruits. In December 2007, the GMA asked the FDA for a “partial response” covering just iceberg lettuce and spinach, Cianci said. Prepublication copy of the FDA’s Federal Register announcementhttp://www.fda.gov/OHRMS/DOCKETS/98fr/FDA-1999-F-2405-nfr.pdf See also: He said the FDA previously approved irradiation of lettuce, spinach, and some other commodities to kill insects and reduce spoilage, which involved doses lower than those used to kill microbes. He was unsure about to what extent irradiation has been used to kill insects in produce, if at all. “Irradiation is effective in reducing levels of potentially dangerous pathogens such as Salmonella and E coli and will provide an additional tool that may be helpful to protect the public from microbial hazards,” Cianci said. Jan 12, 2007, CIDRAP News story “FDA finds Taco John’s E coli strain on California farms”center_img According to an Associated Press (AP) report published today, the FDA concluded that this dose of radiation does not sterilize lettuce or spinach but is enough to “dramatically” reduce levels of E coli, Salmonella, and Listeria without impairing the safety or nutritional value of the foods. The intent is to allow irradiation both to eliminate pathogens and to extend shelf life, according to the FDA’s new rule, to be published tomorrow in the Federal Register but posted online today. The rule takes effect tomorrow. “This final rule will permit the irradiation of fresh iceberg lettuce and fresh spinach to a maximum absorbed dose of 4.0 kGy [kiloGray], which is effective in reducing microbial pathogens that have been associated with these crops in the past,” the FDA said in an e-mailed announcement. “This is not to take the place of other controls; it’s an additional pathogen-reduction method,” Cianci said. “This isn’t going to eliminate the need to wash the product. The FDA continues to recommend that consumers thoroughly wash produce uinder running water before they eat it,” said Cianci. “Pre-washed bagged produce can be used without further washing,” but not all bagged produce is pre-washed, he added. The FDA is still pondering allowing the irradiation of other kinds of produce. Cianci couldn’t predict how soon any additional approvals might come. Fresh bagged spinach grown in California was blamed for an E coli outbreak in the early fall of 2006 that involved 204 cases and three deaths. Later that fall, shredded lettuce from Taco John’s restaurants was implicated in two E coli outbreaks, one in Minnesota and Iowa and the other in several northeastern states.last_img read more

EPA Snatches ‘Best Regulatory Agency’ Award

first_imgAnyaa Vohiri, CEO of Liberia’s Environmental Protection Agency receives the award on behalf of the AgencyMadam Anyaa Vohiri, CEO of Liberia’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was overwhelmed when organizers of ‘Liberian CEO, Business and Leadership Awards’ called her on stage twice to receive two separate awards — one for the EPA and another for herself.Madam Vohiri had gone to the award ceremony held recently at the Monrovia City Hall with no idea that she and the EPA would be honored with two separate awards, a release from the agency has said.But, to her utmost surprise, the EPA was rewarded with Liberia’s ‘Best Regulatory Agency of the Year’ Award for her stance over the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) and Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA), while she was provided Liberia most prestigious corporate award.According to the release, Madam Vohiri was also awarded the ‘Outstanding Public Leadership Award’ for her contributions to the progress the country has made over the years.The award, according to the organizers, demonstrates Madam Vohiri’s efficient leadership ability at the Environmental Protection Agency.Peter SaSellu, chairman of the organizing committee of the Liberian CEO, Business and Leadership Awards, said that the award bestowed on the EPA executive director, was established to recognize and celebrate exceptional leadership in Liberia.SaSellu told an audience of leading corporate executives, managers and professionals from major companies, banks and investment firms that Madam Vohiri selection for the award was based on her hard work, innovation and excellence leadership ability.“As a private sector-driven initiative, we have selected and honored Madam Vohiri, who has exemplified leadership excellence, hard work, innovation and commitment,” Mr. SaSellu said.Shortly after she received the awards, Madam Vohiri, who danced to the stage, expressed surprise for the honors.She requested EPA staff at that ceremony to join her to celebrate the awards, who she later dedicated the awards to, adding that without them, EPA could not have reached thus far.Madam Vohiri said protecting the environment is every one’s business and explained that “the dear Lord left us with the Garden of Eden and told us to take care of it.”“I see Liberia as God’s little Acre, the piece of the garden he set aside especially for us so my passion is to help to take care of it,” the EPA Executive Director said.Madam Vohiri thanked employees of the EPA for believing in her and buying into her vision and commitment.She lauded President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for giving her the opportunity to contribute to her legacy.Madam Vohiri also thanked EPA Board Chair, Minister Boima Kamara, for listening to her in appreciating the value of the environment in sustainable development mix.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more