New Laws Agreed to Regulate Claims Made About Food
Food manufacturers who choose to make claims like low in fat or contains protein for muscle development will have to provide scientific evidence to support these claims under a new food standard agreed to by ministers responsible for food at a meeting in Brisbane on 7 December.
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7 December 2012
Food manufacturers who choose to make claims like low in fat or contains protein for muscle development will have to provide scientific evidence to support these claims under a new food standard agreed to by ministers responsible for food at a meeting in Brisbane today.
At the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation , chaired by the Australian government Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King, governments agreed to a new Standard that provides a regulatory system for nutrition and health claims which will give consumers confidence in the scientific rigour of claims being made.
The new Nutrition, Health and Related Claims Standard will become law in early 2013 and is the result of extensive consultation with public health organisations, consumers and industry over nearly 10 years.
"I am delighted with this outcome today," Ms King said, "and I would like to thank all involved for the substantial amount of work that has gone into this process, including the food industry."
"The new Standard regulates the voluntary use of nutrition content claims such as ‘low fat’ and health claims like ‘contains calcium for healthy bones’ as well as endorsements."
"The Australian Government is committed to reducing rates of obesity and diet related chronic disease and promoting healthier dietary choices through clear and consistent consumer messages is a key to this aim."
Ms King said food manufacturers can choose not to make nutrition and health claims on packaged foods but if they do all claims will be required to be supported by scientific evidence and will only be permitted on foods that meet specific eligibility criteria, including nutrition criteria.
"I believe that the application of the nutrient profiling system is necessary to ensure that health claims only appear on healthy foods and that those foods containing higher levels of sugar, fat and salt will not be able to claim health benefits.
"When gazetted, food businesses will have three years to meet the requirements of the new Standard. The government will continue to work with the food industry during this period to ensure that the system is operating effectively and food labels are compliant."
For more information, contact the Parliamentary Secretary’s office on (02) 6277 4230.
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