There is no cause for concern about the amount of radiation used in irradiated food, the World Health Organisation says. If the sensory qualities of food are retained and harmful micro-organisms are destroyed, the amount of ionising radiation applied is of secondary importance.

Dr Terry Roberts, former head of microbiology at the Institute of Food Research in Reading, who chaired a meeting on food irradiation jointly organised by the WHO, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the International Atomic Energy Agency said: "We are quite satisfied with existing scientific evidence that higher doses of radiation can provide wholesome, nutritious and safe food," he said. The techniques is used in 30 countries including the UK.