The Australia New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) on Wednesday called for a second round of public consultation for the irradiation of herbs, spices, herbal infusions, peanuts, almond, cashews and pistachio nuts. In the same statement ANZFA also sought comment on an application to approve an insect protected cotton as a genetically modified food. The application from Australian company Steritech Pty Ltd is the first ANZFA has received since the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Council (ANZFSC) approved the Standard A17, Irradiation of Food, for inclusion in the Australian Food Standards Code in August 1999. Ian Lindenmayer Managing Director of ANZFA said, "Standard A17 prohibits irradiation or re-irradiation of foods other than for specifically - approved purposes. Approval can only be given on a case-by-case basis, and applicants must demonstrate that irradiation is necessary to improve the safety of the food or for technological reasons. ANZFA is adamant that any recommendation to irradiate food must adhere strictly to these provisions." If the application from Steritech is approved, it will permit the company to use irradiation instead of chemicals such as ethylene oxide, propylene oxide, phosphine and methyl bromide, which are currently used to kill the microbial contaminants and pests that commonly occur in these foods. After the second public consultation process, the ANZFA Board will finalise its recommendations to ANZFSC which will then make the final decision on the Steritech application.