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Food regulation update
21 June 2012
Issues including a revised health claims standard and front-of-pack labelling were on the agenda of a recent meeting of Australian and New Zealand ministers responsible for the regulation of food.
Hospitality partner Curt Schatz reports on the meeting which was chaired Commonwealth Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King.
Nutrition, Health and Related Claims Standard
Ministers were provided with a progress report from Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) on the review of P293 Nutrition, Health and Related Claims Standard and the outcomes of recent public consultation on a revised draft Standard.
Ministers agreed to the importance of a joint standard between Australia and New Zealand. There was support for elements of the proposed standard with regard to the treatment of nutrition content claims, high level health claims and the application of the nutrient profiling scoring criteria applying to general level health claims. Further consideration will be given to the treatment of general level health claims in the draft standard following consultations with stakeholders including consumers, public health organisations and industry.
Front of pack labelling
In December 2011 the Forum on Food Regulation provided its response to Labelling Logic: Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy (2011), which includes an agreement to develop a single interpretive front-of-pack labelling system. Ministers have requested that an interpretive front-of-pack labelling system be developed by December 2012 through a coordinated approach.
This is an important project that aims to help consumers to make more informed food choices, while fostering a strong and innovative food industry through the development of one front-of-pack system that will be widespread, simple and interpretive, for packaged, manufactured or processed foods.
The review of the Policy Guideline on Caffeine that is currently underway was also considered at the meeting. Public consultation on the Policy Guideline is expected to take place later this year.
Ministers also agreed to a standard on raw milk products; foods for special medical purposes; and have sought a review on the proposed extension of the standard on country of origin labelling to include all unpackaged meat products.
For information on any hospitality related matter, please contact:
Curt Schatz | Partner
t +61 7 3224 0230
f +61 7 3224 0333