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3 commonly used brands in New Zealand and their responses about food irradiation

Elly from Just Organic emailed four companies to ask whether they have an irradiation-free policy. As a result of her article and the email results posted below, concerned consumers have started to get in touch with their own thoughts and some have started to query their favourite companies.  We will continue to update this page with any further information we receive about companies and their policies on food irradiation.

As a summary for those who don't wish to read the emails:

Greggs, Masterfoods, Red Seal, and Nestle (Maggi herbs and spices) do not allow irradiation. 

Healtheries herbal teas may contain irradiated ingredients.

We were surprised that healtheries, the company that we perceived would be most likely to NOT allow irradiated ingredients turned out to be the company that would. 

 

Here are the actual email transcripts and phone call results:

1.  Gregg's herbs and spices

Dear Elly

Thank you for your email – we are always really happy to hear from our loyal customers.

We are very happy to tell you that Gregg's Herbs and Spices are not irradiated – we purchase Steam sterilised raw materials.

Should you have any further questions or comments then please visit our website or contact a member of our Customer Services Team on free phone number 0800 765 765.

Again, thank you for contacting us.

Kind regards

Alice Thornton  
Customer Service Representative

Contact me by phoning  0800-765-765   or  send an  Email or order  to  csc@cerebosgreggs.co.nz  orfax 0800 329 245     

Address  for parcels  or a visit   291 East Tamaki Road, East Tamaki 2163 and Postal  PO Box 58-095, Botany, Manukau 2013

 

2.  Masterfoods (spices)

Dear Elly

Thank you for contacting us regarding irradiated ingredients.

Our overriding concern is to produce and market products that meet the highest standards of quality and safety.  Consequently, all the ingredients we use in our products are legal and safe as defined by the competent authorities in Australia and New Zealand.  We also strive to ensure that the labelling of our products will always comply with the relevant regulations and laws.

Furthermore, we are committed to providing our consumers with products and services they desire.  We believe this is critical to our success as a food business.

All of our raw material specifications explicitly exclude the use of irradiation.  We have no plans to use this  technology and will be ensuring that all of our suppliers are aware of our requirement to not use irradiation on any of our raw materials.

We trust this information is of use to you and if you have any further enquiries please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 442 216 (free call).

Yours faithfully 

 GLENN CARRUTHERS

Consumer Care

 

3. Healtheries (herbal teas)

Hi Elly,

Thank you for your query regarding our Healtheries products and my apologies for the delay in reply.

Vitaco Health (NZ) Ltd  are committed to protecting the quality, safety and wholesomeness of our products.  Our products are manufactured using strict quality control procedures that meet or exceed all applicable government and industry standards.

With respect to irradiation where ever possible Vitaco Health (NZ) Ltd prefers to avoid the use of irradiated materials in our products.

Vitaco Health (NZ) Ltd would only use irradiated materials for safety reasons and we will abide by all regulatory requirements.

We believe that safety is the important issue. We support continued evaluation of the best methods to assure safety and we support discussion by all interested parties with respect to developing appropriate means to assess risks and benefits along with a suitable regulatory process.

I hope this helps with your enquiry.

Kind Regards,

Emma Baldwin
Nutritionist
( Main Line: +64 9 272 3714 ( NZ Free Phone: 0800 848 254 ( Australia Free Phone: 1800 247 757

* emma.baldwin@vitaco.co.nz

Vitaco Health (NZ) Ltd
Cnr Kordel Place & Accent Drive
East Tamaki
Auckland
New Zealand

PO Box 259 109
Botany, Manukau 2163
Auckland
New Zealand

 

4.  Nestle (producers of maggi herbs and spices)

09/03/16:

Thank you for your e-mail, we are experiencing high levels of emails at the moment so may take a little longer than usual to respond. However, if your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please call us on 0800 830 840 so we are able to assist you promptly.

Kind Regards,
Consumer Engagement Services Team

29/03/16:

Elly has sent an additional enquiry via their online form and is waiting to hear back.

01/04/16:

Hi Elly,

Thank you for your query on our products. 

We are not currently using any product or ingredient that has been irradiated. In Australia & New Zealand, irradiation is only permitted on certain foodstuffs. 

Irradiation can be used safely to minimise the presence of micro-organisms like bacteria that can cause illness or food spoilage. In Australia & New Zealand, irradiation is only permitted on certain foods and is strictly controlled by Food Standards Australia New Zealand. As some people would prefer not to buy food that has been irradiated, we don’t currently use it on any of our products or the ingredients that go in to them.

Feel free to contact us again by return e-mail if we can help further.

Kind Regards,

Ashley,

Consumer Engagement Services

Nutrition, Health and Wellness is at the heart of everything we do.

 

5.  Red Seal

One of our Just Organic customers phoned her favourite herbal tea company - Red Seal.  Red Seal assured her that they do no allow irradiation.  The tea that they import is treated with a gas (unsure what)  that is safe to humans.