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FSANZ to consult public on gluten free beer labelling

Media Statement

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Coeliac NZ pleased FSANZ will consult public on gluten free beer labelling

Proposal aims to keep gluten-free beer on the menu

Coeliac New Zealand is delighted Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) will raise a proposal to change a rule which prevents alcohol, including beer, from being labelled as gluten-free.

The new rule will come into force by 18 January 2016 and will not permit nutrition content claims and health claims on alcohol products, other than claims about the energy content or carbohydrate levels. Gluten-free is seen as a nutrition content claim.

Coeliac NZ President Terry Hoskins says that last week FSANZ and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) met with Coeliac New Zealand to discuss options for how gluten-free labelling could continue within the new rule.

“After these discussions FSANZ looked at the best way forward and decided to draft a proposal to make a change to the rule, with MPI actively supporting a rule change,” says Mr Hoskins.

“Coeliac New Zealand raised the issue that removing gluten-free labels from beer presents a very real health risk for the 65,000 New Zealanders who have Coeliac Disease and cannot consume gluten. We are pleased that MPI and FSANZ have taken our concerns really seriously.”

“For people with coeliac disease, gluten causes an autoimmune condition which can endanger their health. Keeping gluten free labels on beer is important in helping Coeliacs make the best choices for their health,” he says.

“Coeliac NZ represents thousands of people living with coeliac disease throughout New Zealand and it is our role to ensure their needs and rights are heard and understood by, not only Government, but by manufacturers of food products and by the public.”

The proposal will be subject to public consultation and members of the public can provide a submission or keep informed about the process via the following links.

Where the submissions are posted: http://www.foodstandards.govt.nz/code/changes/Pages/Documents-for-public-comment.aspx

Information on making a submission: http://www.foodstandards.govt.nz/code/changes/submission/Pages/default.aspx

Subscribe for updates: http://www.foodstandards.govt.nz/media/Pages/subscriptionservice.aspx

The new rule is Standard 1.2.7 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

ABOUT COELIAC NEW ZEALAND

Coeliac New Zealand is national non-profit organisation based in Auckland. Its role is to ensure New Zealander’s living with Coeliac Disease and dermatitis herpetiformis are diagnosed quickly, live healthy lives and have the prospect of a cure. The organisation does this by engaging with its members and stakeholders including the food industry and the medical profession to support and improve the health and welfare of people with Coeliac Disease. Coeliac New Zealand was established in 1973.

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