Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Food Ministers Agree to Policy Initiatives

Food Ministers Agree to a Range of Policy Initiatives


The Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council met in Auckland today.

The ANZFRMC comprises Health and Agriculture Ministers, from Australia and New Zealand.

Today the Ministerial Council agreed to policy guidelines for four important areas of food management. These policy guidelines will now be referred to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to commence the food standards development process.

Food Safety Management in Australia Ministers agreed that food safety programs, in highest risk sectors, be made mandatory in Australia and adopted policy guidelines developed by the Ministerial Council to improve food safety management in Australia. These principles include overarching recommendations on which food business sectors should develop and implement mandatory food safety programs.

Those food business sectors included in mandatory food safety programs will be:

* food service in which potentially hazardous food is served to vulnerable populations (eg hospitals, nursing homes);

* producing, harvesting, processing and distributing raw oysters and other bivalves;

* catering operations serving food to the general public; and

* producing manufactured and fermented meat.

Implementation of mandatory food safety programs for these sectors will be required within two years after the amendments to the Food Standards Code are gazetted. This allows for a flexible approach to implementation.

New Zealand is currently reviewing both mandatory and voluntary risk-based management plans in the context of a broad ranging Domestic Food Review.

Nutrition, Health and Related Claims The Ministerial Council endorsed a nutrition, health and related claims policy guideline. The policy aims to ensure that the health and safety of the public is protected, whilst still allowing for food industry innovation and trade. It does this by incorporating a number of elements designed to ensure that claims made on foods or in advertising are true, scientifically substantiated and not misleading.

As part of the discussion, Ministers specifically considered the regulation of biomarker claims. A biomarker is one indicator of a person's risk of developing a serious disease (eg cholesterol is a biomarker for heart disease). This is a very complex issue.

Ministerial Council agreed to the following:

1. Biomarker claims on foods be permitted under the following conditions:

i. Maintenance claims will be subject to pre-market assessment and verification by FSANZ. Council requests FSANZ to report back at the May 2004 meeting on options to streamline processes for pre-market assessment and verification; ii. Enhancement claims will be subject to pre-market assessment and approval by FSANZ; and iii. Reference to serious disease will be subject to pre-market assessment and approval by FSANZ.

2. The Council requests that FSANZ initiate the development of requirements for biomarker claims on food, as part of a new standard for nutrition, health and related claims in the Food Standards Code, in accordance with the process outlined in the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991; and

3. The Council requests FSANZ to report back on progress to the Ministerial Council meeting of May 2004 on the substantiation framework to support maintenance and enhancement claims for biomarkers, to ensure clarity for consumers and industry.

Novel Foods Novel foods are those foods that are non-traditional to Australia and New Zealand and for which there has been no safety evaluation. Regulations concerning novel foods have been incorporated into the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code since June 1991. However, industry has a number of concerns about the existing standard.

Accordingly, Ministers have asked FSANZ to review the standard and associated user guide and to consider issues raised by stakeholders. The revised standard will provide greater clarity about the process FSANZ undertakes in determining if a food is novel. The Ministerial Council has asked the review of the standard has industry, government and consumer input.

Country of Origin Labelling of Food The Ministerial Council has agreed to policy guidelines for mandatory Country of Origin labelling of food.

Fortification of Food The Ministerial Council discussed fortification, such as the addition of folate and iodine to foods.

A discussion paper on fortification of food with vitamins and minerals was released for public consultation on 1 December 2003. Comments are due by 5 February 2004. The results of the consultation process will be used to develop a draft policy guideline, with Ministers scheduled to consider the guideline in May 2004.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Yesterday’s Big Parliamentary Air Kiss To China

In order to obtain support from the two major parties, Act Party deputy leader Brooke Van Velden twice had to soften the language of her parliamentary motion yesterday condemning China’s persecution of the Uighurs. The key word “genocide” was deleted. Evidently, the kind of resolution passed by a conservative government in the UK proved to be far too tough for a centre-left Labour government and a centre-right National opposition to countenance. Yesterday, the two major parties were united in their fear of retribution from China... More>>


Public Services: Government Sets Pay And Workforce Expectations For The Public Sector

The Government’s Workforce Policy Statement issued today sets out its expectations for pay and employment relations in the Public Sector, the Minister of Finance and Minister for the Public Service say. “New Zealand has had an exceptionally successful ... More>>


Government: Budget 2021 Reprioritises Nearly $1 Billion

Hon Grant Robertson Deputy Prime Minister Minister of Finance The Government’s strong pandemic response and the better than expected economic recovery means not all the money allocated in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has been spent, ... More>>


Ardern: Speech To China Business Summit

Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, ate marie, tena koutou katoa, good morning. I am very happy to be here with you once again at my fourth China Business Summit. ... More>>

PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>


PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels