The American Meat Institute is urging the Food Safety and Inspection Service to move forward with the rulemaking process regarding its petition to allow electron beam irradiation to be applied to the surface of beef carcasses as a processing aid.

“Given the substantial food safety benefits this technology offers it seems that the technical issues being raised four years after the petition’s submission can be appropriately addressed during the notice and comment rulemaking process,” said AMI Executive Vice President James Hodges in a letter to Jerold R. Mande, USDA Deputy Under Secretary Food Safety.

“AMI has asked that FSIS recognize e-beam irradiation as a processing aid when applied to the surface of chilled beef carcasses and that the agency treat this process no differently than it treats any other processing aid, Hodges noted, adding that “AMI has provided the necessary research and rationale to support our request.”

Hodges asked Mande for an opportunity to meet to resolve any issues of concern and to clarify any misunderstanding that may exist regarding the regulatory process to implement this promising technology.

View Hodges’ letter.

The July 8, 2005, petition, titled "Citizens Petition To Recognize the Use of E-Beam on Carcasses as a Processing Aid," filed by the American Meat Institute is posted here.