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Truth in labelling, weights and measures and legibility

(January 2017)

Truth in labelling

Fair trading laws and food laws in Australia and New Zealand require that labels do not misinform consumers through false, misleading or deceptive representations. In Australia, this legislation includes the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) contained in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, and state and territory Fair Trading Acts and Food Acts. In New Zealand, this legislation includes the Food Act 2014 and Fair Trading Act 1986.
 
In Australia, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) enforces the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. In New Zealand, the Commerce Commission is responsible for enforcing the Fair Trading Act 1986.

Name or description of the food

Foods must be labelled with an accurate name or description that indicates the true nature of the food, for example ’Strawberry Yoghurt’ should contain strawberries. If it were to contain strawberry flavouring rather than real strawberries, the label should indicate that it is strawberry flavoured yoghurt.

Weights and measures

Suppliers must label food products with accurate weights and measures information (the quantity of food contained in a package). Weights and measures declarations are regulated by the Australian National Measurement Institute and the New Zealand Ministry of Consumer Affairs.  

Legibility requirements

The Food Standards Code requires that labels must be legible and prominent so they are distinct from the background, and in English. The size of the type in warning statements must be at least 3 mm high, except on small packages where the size of the type must be at least 1.5 mm high.

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