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Annette King welcomes new food standards

22 September 2000 Media Statement

Annette King welcomes new food standards

Health Minister Annette King has welcomed a draft new Joint Food Standards Code for New Zealand and Australia, calling it a win for consumers, industry and public health.

Mrs King received a special briefing on the proposed Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code earlier this week from Australia New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) chairman Michael MacKellar and managing director Ian Lindenmayer.

Mrs King said the new code would make an important contribution to consumer food knowledge, and could lead to healthier eating by New Zealanders. “Our present food regulations cannot keep pace with technological developments in the food industry and with people’s changing eating habits and diets.

“The new standards update and enhance the safety features of the current regulations, while moving away from unjustifiable restrictions now imposed on industry, and providing consumers with more information than ever on the nutrient value of the food they are buying.”

Mrs King urged all sections of the community to consider the Code in its entirety. "ANZFA has had to balance many competing interests in its development, but the overall goal has been to design a modern set of regulations which will provide greater protection to consumers."

Mrs King said she believed the proposed code was good news also for New Zealand’s food industry, which would have the opportunity to become more efficient and more internationally competitive as a result.

Mr Lindenmayer paid tribute to the contribution of New Zealand industry, consumer interests and government agencies to the proposed code. “Few countries have attempted such a major overhaul of their food standards. The collaborative partnership between New Zealand and Australia to produce the code has been significant and productive.”

The proposed Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code will be considered in November by the Health Ministers of New Zealand and Australia, acting as the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Council. The proposed code can be viewed on ANZFA's website, www.anzfa.govt.nz

ENDS

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