The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has answered criticism of a July 21, 2000, final rule allowing “the safe use of ionizing radiation for the reduction of Salmonella in fresh shell eggs,” and denied requests for a hearing on the ground that the objections “do not raise issues of material fact or otherwise provide a basis for revoking or modifying…the regulation.” FDA evidently received 26 submissions contesting the final rule, which permits the irradiation of fresh shell eggs at doses not to exceed 3.0 kiloGray (kGy), but only one letter from Public Citizen raised specific issues within the rule’s scope.

The April 13, 2011, Federal Register notice responds to Public Citizen’s claims that FDA misrepresented irradiation’s efficacy and its effect on vitamin A loss and egg yolk carotenoids; that FDA raised the dose allowance to 3.0 kGY without properly updating its analyses; and that FDA failed to follow all of the 1980 recommendations put forth by the Bureau of Foods Irradiation Food Committee. “Despite these allegations, Public Citizen has not established that FDA overlooked significant information in the record while reaching its conclusion that the use of irradiation for the reduction of Salmonella in shell eggs is safe,” states FDA, which has declined to make any changes in its rulemaking.