The public and stakeholders now have an additional two weeks to provide input on the national Health Star Rating (HSR) system, as public consultation is extended until 17 August.
Health Star Rating Advisory Committee Chairman, Dr Kevin Buckett, said public consultation, which opened on June 8 2017, was part of a planned five-year review of the system.
“Since the consultation period has opened there has been strong interest from stakeholders representing a diverse range of views,” Dr Buckett said.
“While we have already had a good response with feedback to date, it’s important we get a rich supply of data to inform the review.
“This is why we have decided to extend the consultation period by a further two weeks to ensure we hear from as many key people and organisations as possible.
“This public feedback, combined with stakeholder’s views on the system, will help provide us with an evidence-based, scientific basis for the review.”
Dr Buckett said the five year review will consider if, and how well, the objectives of the HSR system have been met, and identify any improvement options.
“Matthews Pegg Consulting has recently been engaged as an independent reviewer to conduct the five year review of the HSR system,” Dr Buckett said.
“The findings are expected to be provided to the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (Forum) in mid 2019.”
The HSR system is a voluntary front-of-pack labelling scheme intended to assist consumers in making healthier dietary choices by rating the overall nutritional profile of packaged food and assigning it a rating from half a star to five stars. The system provides a quick standard way to compare similar packaged foods at retail level.
People can lodge their public submissions via the Australian Department of Health’s online Consultation Hub.