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Labelling review

(November 2016)

In 2009, Australian and New Zealand food regulation ministers agreed to a comprehensive independent review of food labelling law and policy.

An expert panel, chaired by Dr Neal Blewett, AC, undertook the review and the panel’s final report, Labelling Logic, was publicly released on 28 January 2011.

In December 2011, the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) agreed on a response to the recommendations contained in the review. The government response can be found on the Labelling Review website.

As part of this government response, FSANZ was asked to do work on a number of the recommendations. Most of this work has now been completed.

Completed work

The Forum has agreed that work on the following recommendations is complete.

Number

Recommendation

FSANZ’s work

​ 6

​That the food safety elements of the food label be reviewed with the aim to maximise the effectiveness of food safety communication.

​Read FSANZ's report to the Forum and the supporting literature.

​ 12

​That were sugars, fats or vegetable oils are added as separate ingredients in a food, the terms 'added sugars' and 'added fats' and/or 'added vegetable oils' be used in the ingredient list as the generic term, followed by a bracketed list (e.g. added sugars (fructose, glucose syrup, honey), added fats (palm oil, milk fat) or added vegetable oils (sunflower oil, palm oil).

​Read FSANZ's report to the Forum and ministers' response.

 13

That the mandatory declaration of all trans fatty acids above an agreed threshold be introduced into the Nutrition Information Panel if manufactured trans fatty acids have not been phased out of the food supply by January 2013.

Read FSANZ's advice and the ministers' response.

 14

That the declaration of total and naturally occurring dietary fibre content be considered as a mandatory requirement in the Nutrition Information Panel.

 15

That voluntary declaration of potassium content in the Nutrition Information Panel be actively considered by industry.

See Standard 1.2.7 - Nutrition, Health and Related Claims.

 17

The declaration in the Nutrition Information Panel of amount of nutrients per serve be no longer mandatory unless a daily intake claim is made​.

Read more about FSANZ's work on this recommendation​.

 20

That the standard for nutrition, health and related claims on food labels, which reflects public health goals, be finalised.

See Standard 1.2.7 - Nutrition, Health and Related Claims.

 40

That Australia’s existing mandatory country of origin labelling requirements for food be maintained and be extended to cover all primary food products for retail sale.

Read more about FSANZ's work on this recommendation.

43

The Perceptible Information Principle be used as a guide for labelling presentation to maximise label comprehension among a wide range of consumers.

Read FSANZ's report to the Forum and the supporting literature review.

​ 47

That warning and advisory statements be emboldened and allergens emboldened both in the ingredients list and in a separate list.

Read FSANZ's report to the Forum and the ministers' response.

  

Work that has been forwarded to the Food Regulation Standing Committee

FSANZ has completed work on the recommendation below and has submitted this work to the Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC) for consideration.

  • Recommendation 26 – that the energy content be displayed on the labels of all alcoholic beverages consistent with the requirements for other foods.

The Food Regulation Secretariat website contains information about FRSC and its activities.

A progress report on the implementation of all the recommendations can be found on the Labelling Review website.

FSANZ is currently working on one final recommendation

Recommendation 34

That the requirement for mandatory labelling of irradiated food be reviewed. 

  • FSANZ released a consultation paper to seek stakeholder views on a number of issues. The findings of this consultation will inform a review report that will be provided to the Forum in mid-2017.
  • No changes are being proposed to the Food Standards Code at this stage. If food regulation ministers ask FSANZ to consider making changes to the relevant standard, then we would undertake this work using our formal standards.

Updates on Labelling Review activities

A number of other recommendations from the labelling review are being progressed by other agencies and departments, e.g. recommendation 50 relating to front-of-pack labelling (the Health Star Rating system) is the responsibility of the Department of Health​.

We will update this web page as work progresses.

FSANZ publishes news about its work in Food Standards News. To subscribe to Food Standards News, visit our subscriptions page.

More information

Labelling Review website

Front of pack labelling

Health claims​​​​​​​

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