Proposed changes to food code

Wednesday, 09 August, 2006

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has released details of proposed changes to the Food Standards Code and invited comments from individuals and organisations with an interest in the regulation of food.

Changes being considered include the levels of water allowed in wine, approval of food from genetically modified lucerne, a novel food sweetener and the declaration on food labels of antioxidants in fats and oils.

In the financial year 2005-06, FSANZ amended 26 food standards in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code " food regulations that apply to the sale of food in Australia and New Zealand.

Usually, the public is given two opportunities to comment on each food matter. FSANZ acknowledges all submissions in a final report and provides details of its response to the issues raised. The closing date for submissions for the latest round of public comment is Wednesday 20 September.

Proposed changes include:

Declaration of antioxidants in fats and oils

The Food Intolerance Network has requested that the Food Standards Code be amended to require the declaration on food labels of antioxidants present in fats and oils, when such fats and oils are used as ingredients in foods.

Nisin " extension of use as a food additive

Danisco Australia Pty Ltd is seeking FSANZ approval to extend the use of nisin as an antimicrobial preservative in processed meat products to a maximum level of 12.5 mg/kg in certain food categories.

Prescribed name for wine products

The Winemakers' Federation of Australia (WFA) wants to amend the Food Standards Code to define the term "wine based beverage', to declare "wine based beverage' as a prescribed name and to delete the current definition for wine product.

Water use in winemaking " amendment to permitted level

The Winemakers' Federation of Australia is seeking permission to increase the amount of water that may be added to wine from 30 to 70 millilitres per litre, but to include the proviso that this level is only permitted where the addition is "in conformance with good manufacturing practice'.

Isomaltulose as a novel food

Palatinit GmbH has asked FSANZ to approve the use of isomaltulose as a novel food. Novel foods are non-traditional foods where there is insufficient evidence of safe human consumption in the community.

Maximum residue limits " Australia only

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority has applied to FSANZ seeking to amend maximum residue limits (MRLs) for a number of chemicals in the Code.

Food derived from glyphosate-tolerant lucerne J101 and J163

The organisation has received an application from Monsanto Australia Limited to approve food derived from genetically modified (GM) herbicide-tolerant lucerne lines J101 and J163.

FSANZ welcomes public comment from industry, public health professionals, government agencies and consumers. Details of all the assessments above can be found on Submissions close on 20 September

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