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New Zealand food regulations revoked

New Zealand food regulations revoked

Food Safety Minister Annette King says New Zealand’s almost 20-year-old food regulations will be revoked tomorrow to make way for the new Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

The revocation of the Food Regulations 1984 marks the end of the two-year transition period leading up to the official introduction of the new code. There are existing food regulations that fall outside the code and they will be continued in the Food (Safety) Regulations 2002.

Ms King said New Zealand and Australia signed a food standards treaty in 1995. “We have been working hard since then to streamline composition and labelling food standards between our countries. The new code will make it easier for consumers to find out what’s in the food they eat because it requires manufacturers to improve the labelling on their products.

“Consumers expect more information about the food they eat and the Food Standards Code will allow them to make informed choices.”

Ms King said there is still some work to be done on six standards within the code. “They will be covered in the meantime by transitional standards, retaining the status quo for both countries. They cover infant formula products, health claims, country of origin labelling, labelling for bee pollen and royal jelly, warning statements on some milk products, and a standard relating to special purpose foods.

“There are also three transitional regulations in the new Food (Safety) Regulations 2002 that relate specifically to New Zealand. These regulations allow for the continued sale of hemp seed oil, the continued use of flouridated water in food products, and the continued sale of Mountain Dew, a caffeinated artificial drink with a higher caffeine content than allowed in Australia.

“In preparing the new code, it has been recognised that New Zealand has some unique food issues that needed to be addressed. These transitional regulations maintain the status quo,” Ms King said.

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