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A new standard for labelling of export infant formula

18 December 2014

A new standard for labelling of export infant formula

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has today issued a new standard to clarify the labelling requirements for exports of infant formula.

“The standard has been developed as part of the infant formula market assurance programme announced by the Government in June 2013,” said Scott Gallacher, MPI Deputy Director-General, Regulation and Assurance.

“It is the first of a set of technical regulatory changes that will be introduced progressively over the next six months to further strengthen our assurance system for exports of infant formula products.

“MPI consulted on the new standard during July and August. The new standard clarifies the information that must be on labels of infant formula intended for export, and information or representations that are restricted or prohibited on these products.

“Exporters will have 18 months to fully comply with the standard, but we expect that most exporters will already be making the necessary changes to labels, and of course must continue to meet importing country requirements” says Mr Gallacher.

The new standard does not apply to infant formula intended for the New Zealand or Australian markets—products for sale here or in Australia must comply with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

To support global public health promotion of breastfeeding, the new standard prohibits certain information and images on labels of exported infant formula. These include health claims unless expressly permitted by the importing country, and the use of pictures of infants or statements that could imply infant formula is superior to breastmilk.

The standard also sets criteria for the use of “Made in New Zealand” claims on export infant formula.

The infant formula export labelling standard and associated guidance document is available on the MPI website here.


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