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First changes to food standards under new system

First changes to food standards under new regulatory system

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has gazetted the first changes to the Food Standards Code under new arrangements introduced to the food regulatory system on 1 July 2002.

FSANZ' s Managing Director Ian Lindenmayer said that a number of changes to the Code became law earlier this week.

The gazetted changes to the Food Standards Code are:

Labelling statements on reduced fat milks (P240)

FSANZ reviewed the inappropriateness of feeding reduced fat milk and milk alternatives such as soy and rice beverages with a fat content of no more than 2.5 per cent to children less than two years of age. The Code now requires the use of a mandatory advisory statement on such products to the effect that they are not suitable as a complete milk food for children under the age of two.

Food derived from insect-protected and glufosinate ammonium tolerant corn (A380)

FSANZ has conducted a safety assessment of this genetically modified corn and has found that it is at least as safe as the non-GM variety. It has now been added to the Food Standards Code as an approved GM food for sale in Australia and New Zealand. This GM corn is not presently grown in the two countries, but it may be imported as an ingredient in processed foods. Labelling of processed food will only be required where DNA or protein from the GM corn is present in the final food.

Oil derived from bromoxynil-tolerant canola (A388)

FSANZ has conducted a safety assessment of this genetically modified canola and has found that it is at least as safe as the non-GM variety. It is now an approved GM food. Canola oil is widely used in the food industry. Oil from bromoxynil-tolerant canola does not contain DNA or protein from the GM canola and is therefore identical to oil obtained from non-GM canola. Labelling of food products containing this GM ingredient will not be required.

Maximum residue limits (A455) (A460) (P261)

Maximum residue limits for agricultural and veterinary chemicals in foods are amended from time to time to reflect changing agricultural and veterinary practices. Dietary exposure assessments indicate that the residues associated with the MRLs for a number of chemicals do not represent an unacceptable risk to public health and safety. MRLs for these chemicals have been amended in the Code.

Minor omnibus amendments to theFood Standards Code(P254) (P246)

These amendments are to correct errors of minor significance or complexity in theFood Standards Code. They include typographical errors, inconsistencies, misspellings, grammatical errors, omissions, deletions, corrections to Tables as well as other additions .

Under the new arrangements, FSANZ notifies the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council of food standards approved by the FSANZ Board. The council then has sixty days in which to request a review of a standard by FSANZ.

The ministerial council did not require any further work to be done on the above changes to the Code, but it asked for a review of the discussions on two foods derived from bee products.

The Council was concerned about the legibility requirements for the royal jelly warning statement and the deletion of the warning statement for foods containing bee pollen. FSANZ is conducting a review, the outcome of which will be considered by the FSANZ Board in the near future.

Further information: Final Assessment Reports and Gazette notices for all the above changes to the Code can be found on the FSANZ website at www.foodstandards.gov.au or www.foodstandards.govt.nz.


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