FSANZ responds to health claims

Thursday, 02 February, 2006

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has refuted claims in the media it would not allow fresh fruit to have health claims as their naturally occurring sugar content was too high.

FSANZ has stated publicly it has a clear intention to allow health claims on healthier foods such as fruit and vegetables while preventing health claims on foods high in salt, fat and sugar.

The proposed upper limit of sugar would only apply on the few occasions when a general level health claim is linked with a specific company brand of fruit, for example "Big Banana brand bananas are a good source of fibre which assists digestive health.' Most fruit are sold by the name of or type of fruit, for example as "apple' or "golden delicious apple', rather than a specific name brand.

FSANZ is currently seeking comment on a proposed health claims standard before finalising it mid-2006.

As part of the current round of public comment, FSANZ is working with industry, growers and health professionals to make sure we achieve sensible results. It is particularly seeking comment and feedback through briefings on how to draw the line to exclude less nutritious food from health claims while allowing healthier foods to make claims.

  • What is a health claim?

Food Standards Australia New Zealand is currently seeking public comment on a new nutrition, health and related claims standard which will involve a major change to food labels to assist consumers make informed choices and encourage the food industry to develop healthier products.

The draft assessment report for health, nutrition and related claims was released for public comment on 28 November 2005. There is more information on exactly what health claims are at http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/whatsinfood/healthnutritionandrelatedclaims/

The proposed standard is at https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/standardsdevelopment/proposals/proposalp293nutritionhealthandrelatedclaims/index.cfm the period for submissions closes on 31 March 2006.

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