COAG Independent Review of Food Labeling Law and Policy

Page last updated: 25 February 2010

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25 February 2010

2nd Round of Public Consultations to Commence on 5 March 2010.

The Committee conducting the Independent Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy is about to embark on the planned second round of public consultations in Australia and New Zealand.

This Review, chaired by Dr Neal Blewett AC, is being conducted at the request of the Council of Australian Governments and the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council, representing Australian and New Zealand Governments.

This public consultation period is an important opportunity for people to provide the Review Committee with specific information about ways to improve food labelling in Australia and New Zealand.

The Food Labelling Review Issues Consultation Paper summarises the issues that have been raised in the first round of submissions to the Review, as well as issues in the literature and media in recent years. This Paper elaborates on the Review’s Terms of Reference and has been prepared to stimulate thinking and debate. It is important to now take the next step in the Review process and begin thinking about the range of solutions and ideas to improve food labelling.

Members of the public are encouraged to take the opportunity to respond to the consultation questions, and to attend one of the public meetings that will be held across Australia and New Zealand.

The Food Labelling Review Issues Consultation Paper will be released on 5 March 2010 via the website (www.foodlabellingreview.gov.au). The closing date for written submissions is 14 May 2010. Submissions that add to the deliberation and discussion (and meet the submission guidelines) will be made publicly available on the website.

As part of the consultation, the Review Committee will be holding public forums in Australia and New Zealand from 17 March – 7 May 2010. Stakeholders are now invited to register on the website (www.foodlabellingreview.gov.au) to attend a public forum.

The schedule is as follows:

Perth Wednesday 17th March 2010
Wellington Thursday 25th March 2010
Christchurch Friday 26th March 2010
Sydney Monday 29th March 2010
Hobart Friday 9th April 2010
Canberra Monday 12th April 2010
Darwin Friday 16th April 2010
Adelaide Friday 23rd April 2010
Melbourne Thursday 29th April 2010
Brisbane Friday 7th May 2010
The members of the Committee are former Australian Health Minister, Dr Neal Blewett AC, public health law academic Dr Chris Reynolds, economic and consumer behaviour expert Dr Simone Pettigrew, food and nutrition policy academic Associate Professor Heather Yeatman, and food industry communications, marketing and corporate affairs professional Mr Nick Goddard. Brief biographies of the Committee members are attached.

Media contact: Media Unit 02 6289 7400 mobile: 0412 132 585

Members of Food Labeling Law And Policy Review Panel

Dr Neal Blewett AC

After a distinguished academic career, including a period as Professor of Political Theory and Institutions at Flinders University, Neal Blewett entered Federal Parliament in 1977 as the Member for Bonython. In 1983 he became Minister for Health in the Hawke government and over the next seven years was the political architect of Medicare, was responsible for the development of Australia’s AIDS policies, introduced the first national drugs campaign and worked for a greater emphasis in national health policies on the prevention of diseases. He served later as Minister for Trade and Overseas Development and as Minister for Social Security. Retiring from Parliament in 1994, he became Australian High Commissioner to London in that year, as well as serving between 1995 and 1998 on the Executive Board of the World Health Organization. In recognition of his services to Australian society, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1995.

Dr Chris Reynolds

Dr Chris Reynolds is a lawyer, with postgraduate qualifications in public health and a PhD from the Department of Community Medicine at Adelaide University. He has taught Constitutional Law, Environmental Law, and Law and Medicine at Flinders University School of Law and the University of South Australia. His main areas of research and consulting have been in public health law and policy, and he has advised the Australian Government and state governments on reforms to public health, food legislation, drug and tobacco laws and also in policy relating to HIV/AIDS. Between 2002 and 2005 he was a Director of Research at the National Centre for Public Health Law at Melbourne’s Latrobe University and was a Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Fellow until 2004.

Dr Simone Pettigrew

Dr Simone Pettigrew holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney, a Master of Commerce from the University of New South Wales, and a PhD in Consumer Research from the University of Western Australia (UWA). She is currently affiliated with the UWA Business School. Her primary research focus is health promotion, specifically in relation to obesity, food marketing, alcohol consumption, ageing, and mental health. She is the editor of the Journal of Research for Consumers.

Associate Professor Heather Yeatman

Associate Professor Heather Yeatman has 30 years experience working in areas relating to health, nutrition, the food system and public engagement in policy. After 10 years in the Health Department in South Australia, she joined the University of Wollongong, where she was instrumental in establishing the dietetics program and a new graduate program in public health nutrition. Dr Yeatman was involved in the Australian Food and Nutrition Policy (1992) and has acted as a scientific expert to government and non-government agencies. She has also served as a member on the FSANZ Board. Through these experiences she has developed unique expertise in food and nutrition policy across the spectrum of local, state, national and international levels.

Mr Nick Goddard

Mr Nick Goddard is a communications and marketing professional with over 25 years experience in the food industry. He has solid track record in bringing new and innovative food products to market, and in doing so has developed a good understanding of the challenges and opportunities the existing food labelling laws present to both businesses and consumers. Mr. Goddard has a Bachelor of Commerce and an MBA, and brings a pragmatic business and solutions oriented approach to the Panel. He is currently Executive Director of an agri-food industry association.