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


Ministers Protect Health, Support Innovation

Joint Communique: Food Ministers Protect Public Health And Support Industry Innovation

CANBERRA, Oct. 25/Medianet International-AsiaNet/--

The ninth meeting of the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council was held in Sydney today, chaired by Christopher Pyne, Parliamentary Secretary to the Australian Government Minister for Health and Ageing.

The Ministerial Council comprises Ministers responsible for food issues in Australia and New Zealand. At the meeting today, the Ministerial Council considered a number of policy and food standards issues, several of which are still in train and will be reported on after the next meeting of the Ministerial Council in May 2007. Matter considered today included:

Policy Guideline for the Regulation of residues of agricultural and veterinary chemicals in food
The Ministerial Council has agreed to a Policy Guideline on Regulation of Low Level Residues from Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals in Food. This Policy Guideline will be forwarded to Food Standards Australia New Zealand for considering alternative approaches to the current zero tolerance approach to the regulation of residues of agricultural and veterinary chemicals in food.

Currently, where there is no Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) set in the Food Standards Code for residues of agricultural and veterinary chemicals, a zero tolerance approach is enforced. Therefore, foods containing low levels of residues of agricultural and veterinary chemicals with no MRL become illegal for sale, even if they pose no significant risk to public health. Mandatory enforcement action results in substantial imposts on industry and enforcement agencies that are not commensurate with the risks posed.

National Food Safety Audit Policy
The Ministerial Council has agreed to a National Food Safety Audit Policy. The Policy will promote uniformity and consistency in the management of food safety auditors and auditing within Australia, and where possible, facilitate equivalence with New Zealand. The Policy with be implemented over the next five years.

The Food Regulation Standing Committee will now develop an implementation plan for the Policy to identify resource requirements, accountabilities and specific timeframes.

Mandatory Fortification with Folate
All Ministerial Council members reinforced their commitment to reduce the number of neural tube defects through mandatory fortification with folic acid as quickly as possible.

The Ministerial Council discussed the Final Assessment Report from Food Standards Australia New Zealand on a proposal for consideration of mandatory fortification of food with folic acid.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand have been asked to review the proposed standard due to technical considerations with the implementation of the standard, and compliance issues, within six months.

Trans Fatty Acids
The Ministerial Council received an update from Food Standards Australia New Zealand on its review of the level of trans fatty acids in Australian food.

This work is being done as there is world wide concern about the potential health effects of trans fatty acids, particularly those that are derived from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and there has been no recently published estimates of total trans fatty acid intake in Australia or New Zealand.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand expects to provide it final report on this matter to the Ministerial Council at its next meeting in May 2007.

Front of Pack Nutrition Labelling System.
Ministerial Council members considered a proposal to examine a front of pack nutrition labelling scheme, including traffic light labelling similar to one in the UK, that provides consumers at a glance information about nutritional content of foods.

Council members agreed to ask the Food Regulation Standing Committee to explore and report to the Council at its next meeting whether a uniform front-of-pack food labelling system would be an effective health strategy, and to advise on the efficacy of a range of options for such a labelling system, which may include the traffic light labelling system, the behavioural labelling system and any other options.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Roe v Wade Aftermath

Now that the right of US women to abortion (formerly protected by Roe v Wade) has been abolished, the important role of medication-induced abortion will come even more to the fore. Already, research by the Guttmacher Institute reproductive rights centre shows that over half of US abortions are obtained by medication. According to the US Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organisation, the abortion pills can be safely self-administered at home within the first ten weeks of pregnancy, rather than via a surgical procedure carried out in a bricks-and-mortar abortion clinic...


Winston Peters: Issues Judicial Review Proceedings

Winston Peters has issued judicial review proceedings against Speaker of the House the Rt Honourable Trevor Mallard, challenging Mr Mallard’s issue of a trespass warning against Mr Peters on 28 April 2022, which the Speaker then withdrew on 4 May 2022... More>>

Government: Electoral Changes Will Bring Greater Transparency For Voters

Changes to electoral law announced by Justice Minister Kiri Allan today aim to support participation in parliamentary elections, and improve public trust and confidence in New Zealand’s electoral system... More>>

Parliament: Grounds Fully Reopened

Parliament’s grounds have been fully reopened today at a ceremony and community event with mana whenua, members of the public, and representatives of Parliament... More>>

NZ Republic: Charles CHOGM Speech Green Light For Change
“Prince Charles had made it clear in his speech to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda today that even the Royal family think it’s time for change” said Lewis Holden, campaign chair of New Zealand Republic... More>>

National: Goodfellow To Retire As Party President
Peter Goodfellow today announced he will not seek re-election as President of the National Party at its Annual Conference. Mr Goodfellow will remain as a director on the board for one final term to assist in the transition... More>>

Police: Parliament Occupation Investigators Seek Public Assistance
Police investigating criminal activity on the final day of the occupation at Parliament grounds earlier this year are appealing for the public’s help to identify 15 people... More>>




InfoPages News Channels