This article looks at the different regulatory approaches on food irradiation, starting with international standards on food irradiation, describing the approach in the US and other third countries, and finally in the EU, where there has been a regulatory standstill since 1999. The current EU approach on food irradiation, which authorises irradiation of certain predefined product categories and sets upper dose limits, does not appear to be in line with the approach used under the relevant internationally-recognised standards, such as the Codex Alimentarius and the International Plant Protection Convention. There are potential legal conflicts between the current regulatory framework on food irradiation in the EU and the international trade framework of the World Trade Organization. Ultimately, the EU must base its measures on scientific principles, on relevant international standards, and choose the least trade-distortive measures that are available (i.e., ensure that they are applied only to the extent necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health). In 2011, the European Food Safety Authority published new risk assessments on food irradiation, which the European Commission has requested in view of drafting new EU legislation on food irradiation, and which appear to open the way for a fundamental altering of the regulatory parameters (such that food irradiation regulations must be scientifically-justified and in line with the relevant international standards), and seem to weaken the EU stance vis-à-vis the possible instances where the current rules on food irradiation prevent (de jure or de facto) access to the EU market by third countries’ operators and products, particularly those of developing countries.