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Food standards body close to finalising labelling review work

An independent review into food labelling has received hundreds of submissions and involved several rounds of consultation, including public meetings with the food industry.

Food Standards Australia & New Zealand (FSANZ) concluded that the dietary intakes of trans fats in Australia and New Zealand were likely to remain below World Health Organization limits and that mandatory labelling was not warranted.

Another review recommendation was that total and naturally occurring dietary fibre content should be shown on NIPs. FSANZ looked into this recommendation by reviewing the science on ‘naturally occurring’ dietary fibre.

Consumers were also asked how they understand dietary fibre content and estimated how much it would cost consumers and industry to have dietary fibre information on all foods.

New review standards were also introduced, as FSANZ was able to implement the ability to allow voluntary potassium claims to be made on food labels.

The review recommended that Australia’s existing mandatory country of origin labelling requirements for food be extended to cover all primary foods. FSANZ examined the requirements and extended country of origin labelling to unpackaged beef, veal, lamb, hogget, mutton and chicken in July 2013.

FSANZ also looked at the remaining primary produce that didn’t need to display country of origin information on the label, for example goat meat.

By the end of 2016, FSANZ expects to complete work on its final two recommendations.

These include expanding the ingredient list on food labels so that the terms ‘added sugars’, ‘added fats’ and/or ‘added vegetable oils’ are used followed by a bracketed list with the names in addition to reviewing the requirement that a food has been irradiated. 

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