Food Industry Group welcomes Australian Government Attitude to food packaging labelling

4:30 PM, 8 December 2011

New Zealand’s Food Industry Group (FIG), of which ANZA is a member, welcomes the Australian Government’s intention to work with the food industry on a consistent approach to nutritional information on packaging, rather than impose “traffic light labelling” on manufacturers.

The Australian Government’s position was confirmed recently by the Hon Catherine King, Minister for Health &Ageing, in response to a trans-Tasman review of Food Labelling Law & Policy.

FIG Vice-Chairman, Lindsay Mouat believes partnership with industry is the most efficient and effective way forward on the issue of nutritional labelling.

“When it comes to nutritional guidelines for consumers, there are many strengths in the existing, industry-developed “% daily intake” guide,” he said.

“These strengths can be enhanced by building consumer awareness and understanding. An educational programme mayachieve significantly more than tinkering with labelling systems when it isincredibly difficult and costly to find one system that serves all needs.

“There are many flaws with traffic light labelling’s simplistic Red/Orange/Green approach. For example, milk might display a red indicator, sending a confusing message to those sectors of the population who really need to consume greater quantities of the product.”

The Australian Government will take its position to the next meeting of Australian and New Zealand representatives at the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation on 9 th.

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