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Independents call for clearer Australian made labelling

A new law may soon be introduced to clearly define which products can and cannot carry an ‘Australian made’ label.  

Independent Senator for South Australia Nick Xenophon said Australia’s current food labelling system was inadequate and confusing consumers.

“Our current labelling laws make it so hard for consumers to find real Australian products, it’s virtually impossible to be sure you are actually buying Australian,” he said.

Senator Xenophon will introduce a Private Members Bill into the Senate designed to eliminate loopholes that allow foreign produce to be labelled ‘Australian Made’ and to also eliminate misuse of terms like ‘fresh’ and ‘daily’.

“Australian Made should mean wholly made in Australia,” Mr Xenophon said.

“It should be illegal to call a product Australian Made, when a significant amount of it comes from overseas.

“Right now you can label a fruit juice as ‘Made in Australia’ even if half the juice comes from overseas as long as the box and the label are locally made.

“Honest labelling laws protect consumers and they protect farmers,” Mr Xenophon said.

Riverland irrigator Ron Gray said current labelling laws were costing Australian farmers their jobs, making the drought and the affects of global warming even more devastating.

“When Australian laws allow foreign food to be passed off as Australian made, you hurt Australian farmers,” Mr Gray said.

“People think they’re buying juice made from Australia when it fact it has come from Chile, or Argentina, or Heaven knows where.”

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