New food labels
A new standard for nutritional content claims on food packaging has come into effect.
The standard came into effect on 18 January and aimed to give consumers confidence that nutrition content claims and health claims on food labels and in advertising were backed by scientific evidence.
Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King said the standard would support industry innovation and help consumers make informed food choices.
“For example, with a ‘good source of calcium’ nutrition content claim, the food will need to contain at least the minimum amount of calcium specified in the Standard,” Ms King said.
“Health claims, such as ‘calcium is good for bones and teeth’, are only permitted on foods that meet specific eligibility criteria, including nutrition criteria.
“There are more than 200 pre-approved food-health relationships to support a health claim or food businesses can self-substantiate according to the standard.”
Ms King said food businesses had three years to meet the requirements of the new Standard 1.2.7 – Nutrition, Health and Related Claims.
“Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and state and territory government agencies will continue to work with the food industry during the implementation period to ensure the system is operating effectively and food labels are compliant,” she said.
Ms King said country-of-origin labelling had also been extended in Australia only to include unpackaged beef, sheep and chicken meat, with businesses given six months to meet the requirements.
“Mandating additional country-of-origin labelling requirements ensures consumers are provided with access to this information consistently across the retail sector,” Ms King said.
Edition 345, 22 January 2013