STC Number - 52

Measures on food treated with ionizing radiation

Maintained by: European Union
Raised by: United States of America
Supported by:
First date raised: September 1998 G/SPS/R/12 paras. 37-38
Dates subsequently raised: July 2001 (G/SPS/R/22 para. 127)
Number of times subsequently raised: 1
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/EEC/61 G/SPS/GEN/265
Products covered:
Primary subject keyword: Food safety
Keywords: Food safety; Human health
Status: Not reported
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In September 1998, the representative of the United States sought clarification on the status of the measure related to food and food ingredients treated with ionizing radiation. The US representative considered that the Directive was a positive step toward recognizing the role that this technology could play in ensuring the wholesomeness and safety of food. The United States was in fact taking similar steps. Official comments had been sent to the European Communities, outlining specific points. However, the United States wished to emphasize that the Annex of the Directive should be expanded to cover other food products such as pork, beef, poultry, fruits and vegetables. The Directive indicated that irradiated foods from EC-approved facilities could be imported, and the United States requested further explanation on how this approval process worked.

The EC representative thanked the US delegation for its positive comments. He was aware of the limited field of application of the Directive and would forward the suggestions of the United States to the competent services of the Community.

In a document introduced in July 2001, the representative of the United States introduced an update to the Secretariat document on specific trade concerns (G/SPS/GEN/204/Rev.1). The United States had examined the issues it had raised in the Committee to determine whether the issues had been resolved. This exercise had shown that the SPS Committee was a useful forum to address and resolve trade issues. The US document presented the US view on the status of the relevant issues, and the United States was prepared to discuss other Members' views on this status.