FSANZ launches guide to food labelling

Thursday, 16 March, 2006

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has launched a new guide on country of origin food labelling.

Announced in Adelaide by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Christopher Pyne said the guide would help industry and enforcement authorities to meet the new standard on labelling.

"This new user guide has been designed by FSANZ to help food retailers and businesses, especially small businesses like fruit and veggie shops and butchers, to understand the new country-of-origin labelling standard," Mr Pyne said.

"From 8 June " which is only three months away " all unpackaged fresh and processed fruit, vegetables, nuts and seafood must say which country they come from, including Australia.

"From December this year unpackaged fresh and processed pork products must also be labelled with their country of origin, and the changes to packaged foods must be completed by December 2007.

"The new country-of-origin labelling standard has been endorsed by the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council, which I chair.

"I urge all state and territory agencies responsible for food to ensure that their local food businesses and retailers are aware of these new requirements, and to fully enforce the Food Standards Code, including this new standard."

When the ministerial council agreed to the new standard in October 2005, the Australian Government directed FSANZ to assess the merit of extending country-of-origin labelling to two or less fruit or vegetable whole-food components packaged together, including where other incidental ingredients were included.

"FSANZ is also preparing information to help consumers to understand the new country-of-origin labelling when it starts to come into force in June," he said.

The new Country of Origin Labelling of Food Guide to Standard is available on the FSANZ website at the FSANZ website

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