Food Standards Australia New Zealand Logo
Food Standards Australia New Zealand Logo

Call for comment on Very Low Energy Diets


Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is calling for comment on an application to codify Very Low Energy Diets (VLED) within Standard 2.9.5 – Food for Special Medical Purposes (FSMP) in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code).

The application also seeks alignment with an international standard, the CODEX Standard for Formula Foods for Use in Very Low Energy Diets for Weight Reduction (Codex STAN 203-1995).

FSANZ interim Chief Executive Officer Dr Sandra Cuthbert said if approved, the variation would provide regulatory clarity and certainty for VLED and foster international harmonisation.

“VLED are formulated for the dietary management of overweight and obesity and are intended for use under medical supervision, providing the sole source of nutrition within a narrow energy range to assist safe and fast weight loss," Dr Cuthbert said.

“Foods produced for consumption as part of very low energy diets have been available in the Australian and New Zealand marketplace for more than 20 years and are manufactured according to the international standard CODEX STAN 203/1995 to allow for a harmonised approach to production. ​

“In New Zealand, VLED are regulated by Standard 2.9.6 - Transitional standard for special purpose foods, however, there is no applicable standard for the Australian market.

“After undertaking nutritional adequacy and safety assessments, FSANZ is satisfied that adoption of the Codex STAN 203-1995 nutrient composition poses minimal risk of nutritional concerns to Australian and New Zealand consumers.

“Regulation of VLED as foods for special medical purposes further ensures safe and adequate use due to the existing regulatory measures of the standard."

Interested parties are invited to have their say on the draft variation by 6pm (Canberra Time) 17 December 2021.​

What happens to my feedback?

We will publish all submissions to our website as soon as possible at the end of the public comment period.

All feedback will be considered by FSANZ before making a decision on whether to approve the application/proposal.

Our decision will be notified to ministers responsible for food regulation who can ask for a review or agree to include the amendment in the Food Standards Code.

More information:

Media contact:


Return to top