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Food Labelling Review - Palm Oil
The report on the Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy (Labelling Logic) developed by the Independent Panel chaired by Dr Neal Blewett contains a recommendation on labelling of added sugars, added fats and added vegetable oils (including palm oil).
The Australian Government is aware of the community interest concerning the use and labelling of palm oil as an ingredient in food products.
In 2011, the final report (Labelling Logic) was released by the Independent Panel who conducted a review on food labelling law and policy. Labelling Logic contains 61 recommendations regarding food labelling.
On 9 December 2011, the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum), considered its response to the recommendations in the Labelling Logic report. The Forum has proposed actions and implementation over the next five years that endeavour to balance improving the information on food labels to meet consumers’ needs, against maintaining marketing flexibility and minimising the regulatory burden on industry and barriers to trade. Information about the Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy, the Labelling Logic report, and the full Government response are available on the Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy website.
The Government believes that, where sugars, fats or vegetable oils are added as separate ingredients in a food, consumers should be able to look to the back of the packet to find out what specific kind of sugars, fats and oils are included, instead of the generic term. The Government supports Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) being asked to consider how this might be done, with a view to consumers seeing the generic term appear on the back-of-packet, followed by a bracketed list (e.g. “added sugars (fructose, glucose syrup, honey)”, “added fats (vegetable fat, milk fat)” or “added vegetable oils (sunflower oil, palm oil)”).
The Forum has asked FSANZ to undertake a technical evaluation and provide advice on the proposed changes to the ingredient listing on the label. Advice from FSANZ will assist the Forum to fully consider the expected benefits and cumulative impacts of possible changes to labelling requirements prior to considering any amendments to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.
Reviewed: 10 May 2013