They want to ensure the safety of products by radiation treatment

They want to ensure the safety of products by radiation treatment

© Igor Samokhvalov/PG

Products are offered to be protected from parasites and spoilage with the help of ionizing radiation. Such a bill is planned to be considered in the second reading at one of the plenary sessions of the State Duma during the spring session. The safety of this technology has already been confirmed by scientists and experts from different countries.

Optimistic mood

The document establishes in the legislation the concept of special processing of agricultural and food products with ionizing radiation – radiation processing. It also establishes the need to ensure the radiation safety of this process and the resulting goods.

The changes will affect the laws “On the Development of Agriculture”, “On Plant Quarantine”, “On the Quality and Safety of Food Products”, “On Protection of Consumer Rights”, “On Veterinary Medicine” and others. This is necessary to form a full-fledged legal framework for the use of this technology. Now there are no norms in the legislation defining such use of ionizing radiation, although certain issues are settled in interstate and national GOSTs, that is, there is no ban on its use either.

The authors of the bill – a group of deputies and senators – suggest that such an innovation will stimulate the development of innovative technologies for processing products. And this, in turn, will not only help to provide consumers with high-quality and safe products, but will also improve the conditions for the development of exports of domestic goods, as it will increase their production.

The document was adopted in the first reading in July 2020. Then its further consideration was postponed five times, and now it has been included in the State Duma calendar for February 14, 2023. Co-author of the bill, First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Agrarian Food Policy and Environmental Management Alexey Mayorov believes that this time their initiative has real prospects: “I think that we will still adopt this law in the spring session.” At the same time, the concept of the bill will be fully preserved, and it will allow the widespread use of such technology, Mayorov assured.

good old fumigation

Now the processing of export and import cargoes is regulated by phytosanitary requirements. Ignoring them may result in the recipient refusing to accept the goods at all if quarantine organisms are found in it.

Now, for this, they mainly use fumigation, that is, they eliminate possible pests with the help of various gases that are poisonous to them. The technology is also used to increase the shelf life of perishable fruits and vegetables in warehouses.

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General requirements for the transportation and storage of food products are grouped in the decision of the chief state sanitary doctor. Among them are the availability of special clothing and medical books for employees and accompanying people, daily monitoring of the temperature and humidity conditions of storage, and compliance with the commodity neighborhood.

Separate requirements are described for different types of goods. For example, chilled meat should be stored vertically and without contact with each other, the walls and floor of the refrigerator, and frozen meat should be stored on racks or pallets.

Yes in practice, not in law

Despite possible frightening associations, radiation processing of raw materials and finished products is popular in many countries of the world. Moreover, such work has been carried out there for a long time, said the co-author of the bill, chairman of the State Duma Committee on Agrarian Issues Vladimir Kashin.

“This makes it possible to extend the shelf life of the same chicken, turkey, pork, and so on,” the deputy explained. Also, this treatment, if carried out in compliance with all safety requirements, destroys parasites and reduces the risk of spoilage.

In the USSR, the technology was used from 1958 to 1983 to process individual batches of products. And modern studies of leading Russian scientific organizations confirm that such use of ionizing radiation is effective and safe for people.

Now the Russian industry is already making equipment for ionizing processing and has a large portfolio of orders, because manufacturers are actively working with this technology, especially if they are engaged in meat, fish and dairy products, Kashin told Parlamentskaya Gazeta.

That is, in practice, all this is already being applied, but it is necessary to formalize it legally. “And from the point of view of our Eurasian space, it is necessary, first of all, to synchronize this situation in the legislative plan,” the deputy added. However, it often happens that individual draft laws undergo lengthy preparation and examination, which can take up to a whole year, he explained the reason for the long promotion of the document.


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