The following is a media release from Food Standards Australia New Zealand about the new Standard for Health and Nutrition Claims. It is included with permission.
A new standard to give consumers confidence that nutrition content claims and health claims on food labels and in advertising are backed by scientific evidence became law from 18 January.
Announcing the new standard, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing Catherine King said it aims to support industry innovation and help consumers make informed food choices.
“For example, with a ‘good source of calcium’ nutrition content claim, the food will need to contain at least the minimum amount of calcium specified in the Standard,” Ms King said.
“Health claims, such as ‘calcium is good for bones and teeth’, are only permitted on foods that meet specific eligibility criteria, including nutrition criteria.
“There are more than 200 pre-approved food-health relationships to support a health claim or food businesses can self-substantiate according to the Standard.”
Ms King said food businesses have three years to meet the requirements of the new Standard 1.2.7 – Nutrition, Health and Related Claims.
“Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and state and territory government agencies will continue to work with the food industry during the implementation period to ensure the system is operating effectively and food labels are compliant,” Ms King said.
In addition to the gazettal of the health claims standard, country of origin labelling has been extended in Australia only to include unpackaged beef, sheep and chicken meat. Businesses have six months to meet the requirements.
“Mandating additional country of origin labelling requirements ensures consumers are provided with access to this information consistently across the retail sector,” Ms King said.
Ministers responsible for food regulation agreed to these changes in December 2012.
More information: contact Ms Kings office on 02 6277 4230