The Newsletter of the Food Regulation Secretariat - Issue 8 Dec 2008

An initiative of the Australian Federal, State and Territory and New Zealand Governments

Page last updated: 08 October 2013

PDF printable version of The Newsletter of the Food Regulation Secretariat Issue 8 December 2008 (PDF 39 KB)

Issue 8 December 2008
ISBN:0 642 82515 7

Policies under development

Front of Pack Labelling

There has been increased interest in front-of-pack (FOP) labelling schemes as a means to provide consumers with information regarding healthy food options in Australia and New Zealand.

In October 2006, the Ministerial Council discussed front-of-pack labelling and agreed that FRSC should explore the issue and report on whether a uniform front-of-pack labelling system would be an effective health strategy in Australia and New Zealand.

In October 2008, the Ministerial Council received a report on work to date, and asked FRSC to develop a draft ministerial policy guideline on FOP using the agreed policy development process. The process includes the development of a policy options paper, stakeholder consultation, and preparation of a policy Regulatory Impact Statement meeting requirements of the Office of Best Practice Regulation.

Review of Infant Formula 2.9.1

In June 2008, FRSC established a Working Group to develop a Policy Guideline on Infant Formula Products. The purpose of the Policy Guideline is to ensure that the policy intent underpinning standards in this area is adequate to address the research, developments and future trends in respect of the composition and labelling of infant formula products.

The Terms of Reference and timeline can be viewed on the Food Regulation Secretariat website.

The Policy development process includes the development of a policy options paper, stakeholder consultation, and preparation of a policy Regulatory Impact Statement the meets the requirements of the Office of Best Practice Regulation.Top of page

Review of the Intent of Part 2.9 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code

In March 2008, FRSC established a Working Group to develop a Policy Guideline on the intent of Part 2.9 of the Code – Special Purpose Foods. The Policy Guideline will be designed to provide guidance to FSANZ on the intent of Part 2.9 of the Code. It is not the intention of the Policy Guideline to remove any Standards from the Code, it is to provide FSANZ with guidance to ensure that Standards relating to Special Purpose Foods are placed appropriately within the Code, and also ensure that Part 2.9 Standards do not unintentionally capture foods that are general purpose in nature.

The Terms of Reference and timeline can be viewed on the Food Regulation Secretariat website.

Current projects and reviews

Comprehensive Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy

In October 2008, the Ministerial Council agreed, in principle, to commission an independent, comprehensive review of food labelling law and policy. The review is to be chaired by an independent public policy expert and will be undertaken by an independent expert panel. The expert panel will comprise prominent individuals (appointed by the Ministerial Council) who collectively possess knowledge and expertise in the fields of public health, regulation, economics/public policy, law, and consumer behaviour and business.

On 29 November 2009, the Council of Australian Governments agreed to consider options to improve food labelling law and policy in early 2009.

National Food Incident Response Protocol

In October 2008, the Ministerial Council endorsed the revised National Food Incident Response Protocol (the Protocol). The Protocol was updated to ensure an effective system for the consistent management of national food incidents. Under the revised protocol, FSANZ is the Central Notification Point and agency responsible for coordinating national food incident responses.

Trans fatty acids in the Australian and New Zealand food supply

In October 2008, the Ministerial Council agreed that the trans fatty acids survey, currently coordinated by FSANZ, should include dietary intake assessment based on the latest results of the National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey 2007. FRSC is to report back on the survey results and provide to the Ministerial Council at its next meeting, a progress report on the voluntary initiatives undertaken by industry to reduce trans-fat intake.

Food colouring

In October 2008, the Ministerial Council noted FSANZ’s continuing work in monitoring and researching issues in relation to food colours.Top of page

Food Standards Australia New Zealand Board Appointments 2009

The terms of appointment of seven of the 12 Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) Board members are due to expire on 30 June 2009.

The Food Standards Australia and New Zealand Act 1991 and its Regulations set out the requirements for seeking nominations and making appointments to positions on the FSANZ Board.

The Secretary of the Department of Health and Ageing, on behalf of the Parliamentary Secretary, the Hon Jan McLucas has, on the 2 November 2009, written to nominating organisations to seek nominations. Nominations will close on 19 December 2008.

For our stakeholders

Please let us know if your contact details have changed. If you know of anyone who might be interested in receiving the newsletter please register for our database on the website listed below. The Secretariat contact details are:
Address: PO Box 4, Woden ACT 2606
Email: Food Regulation Secretariat
Phone: (02) 6289 5128
Fax: (02) 6289 5100
Website: Food Regulation Secretariat

Calendar dates for 2009

Please note: The following dates may be subject to change.
March:
6th – FRSC – Wellington
April:
1st & 2nd - ISC - Adelaide
May:
1st – Ministerial Council - Sydney
June:
19th - 4th Stakeholder Consultation Forum – arrangements TBA
July:
8th & 9th - ISC – Sydney
August:
7th – FRSC – Melbourne
October:
23th – Ministerial Council – Brisbane
November:
4th & 5th – ISC – Fremantle
December:
11th – FRSC – Adelaide

Acronyms
ISC – Implementation Sub Committee
FRSC – Food Regulation Standing Committee
Ministerial Council – Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial CouncilTop of page

Governing Documents for the Food Regulation System

The Food Regulation Agreement is an agreement between the Australian Government and the States and Territories of Australia which gives effect to a national approach to food regulation in Australia. It is accessible on the Food Regulation Secretariat website.

The Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of New Zealand Concerning a Joint Food Standards System (the Treaty) is designed to reduce unnecessary barriers to trade and facilitate international competitiveness. The Treaty may be found on the Australasian Legal Information Institute website.

The Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 (FSANZ Act) and its Regulations establishes the Food Standards Australia New Zealand with functions relating to the development of food regulatory measures and for related purposes. The FSANZ Act can be found on the ComLaw website.

The FSANZ Regulations can be found on the ComLaw website.

The Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition documents represent an arrangement between the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments of Australia and the Government of New Zealand. Under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement (TTMRA), in-principle, food that complies with New Zealand food regulations can be freely imported into Australia from New Zealand.
TTMRA - Arrangement between Australia and New Zealand
1997 Commonwealth Act
1997 New Zealand Act
COAG Users Guide

Completed policy guidelines

The following policy guidelines have been completed and are on the Food Regulation Secretariat website.