Better Safety In Food And Use Of Radiation

Australians will benefit from a safer food supply and safer use of radiation for medical diagnosis and treatment, as a result of initiatives in today’s Budget.

Page last updated: 08 May 2007

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8 May 2007
MAS11/07

Australians will benefit from a safer food supply and safer use of radiation for medical diagnosis and treatment, as a result of initiatives in today’s Budget.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Brett Mason, said the key Commonwealth regulatory agencies in the areas of food and radiation would receive extra funds to enable them to meet the challenges of new technology.

  • Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) will receive additional ongoing funding of $12.7 million over four years, for monitoring, and reacting to, new foods and developing appropriate new safety standards.
  • The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) will receive ongoing additional funding of $9.0 million over four years to improve the use of radiation in medicine, including training to medical professionals.
Senator Mason said in both cases the additional funding would lead to reduced risks for consumers and a better scientific evidence base.

“FSANZ performs an essential function in ensuring the safety of our food. New technology is making this task more complex and expensive,” Senator Mason said.

“This extra funding will allow FSANZ to keep pace with changes in the food environment, and to respond to urgent demands from industry and consumers.

“The food industry will also benefit from quicker consideration of applications for new standards, improving industry innovation and competitiveness.”

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) will consult with professional bodies and regulators on best practice training for radiographers, radio-oncologists and medical physicists.

Senator Mason said the extra funding to ARPANSA included $2.75 million in 2007-08 for a new medical linear accelerator to provide accurate calibration of radiation doses.

“Integration of computer technology and radiation delivery is improving the diagnosis and treatment of disease, especially cancer,” Senator Mason said. “However, this technology change is also leading to higher doses of radiation to patients.

“Any use of radiation carries a long term risk. This Budget measure will ensure that doctors and health technologists have the skills and knowledge to use the lowest dose which is effective.”

Media Contact : Paul McGlew 0401 991 487

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