Government to make a move on country-of-origin labelling

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called upon Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce to prepare a submission for cabinet by the end of March.

According to Fairfax Media, Tony Abbott said “For too long, people have been talking about country of origin labelling. And nothing much has changed.”

"Plainly, whenever we have a problem with imported food in particular, people want to know more about where their food, where their products are coming from."

The move comes after CHOICE renewed calls for tougher country of origin labelling rules after 18 people tested positive for hepatitis A after eating frozen Patties berries that were believe to be contaminated.

Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, has also called for an urgent independent review of Australia’s imported food safety regime.

Macfarlane said on Thursday that current labels were confusing and left consumers uncertain about where their food came from.

He said changes would likely result in new graphics on food labels, such as a pie chart or symbols indicating what proportion of a product was from Australia.

Nanna's Mixed Berries have been epidemiologically linked with the outbreak, but the source of the virus remains unconfirmed.


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