Free-Range Hens Can Now be Stocked up to 10,000 Birds per Hectare but Choice Cries Foul

The five-year wait for a national standard on free-range eggs stocking density is over with the Federal Government announcing new laws. Any eggs labelled "free range" will require a stocking density outdoors of 10,000 hens or fewer per hectare. But consumer group Choice said it was disappointed with the new standards and vowed to maintain its recommendation to "boycott" densely stocked farmed eggs at the supermarkets.   Source: ABC News Free-range eggs

ACCC Issues Guidelines on Country of Origin Claims

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission notes that under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), certain food products offered or suitable for retail sale will be required to display country of origin information. The ACL doesn’t require non-food products to carry country of origin labelling, although other laws may do so. All businesses, whether they are legally required or choose to display country of origin labelling, are prohibited from making false or misleading representations or engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct about the origin of goods (both food and non-food).    Source: Country of Origin labelling    See also related New Zealand ruling: NZ CoOL

Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation Communiqué

The Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation is responsible for maintaining a strong food regulation system that is based on scientific evidence and expertise and is focused on protecting the health and safety of consumers. Ministers recently discussed a range of food regulation issues, including finalising their investigation into low-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) hemp seeds as a food. They also discussed the latest updates on food labelling of sugar and fats and oils and released the two year progress review report on the implementation of the Health Star Rating system.    Source: Aust-NZ Communique

Hemp Brings New Hope for NSW

NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair has welcomed a decision today to approve low THC hemp for sale as food, by the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation.    Source: Food hemp.   See also, SMH Hemp for food

Why the Health Star Rating System is Flawed

Three years ago, the federal government launched the Health Star Rating System, which resulted in some supermarket products being rated a certain number of stars based on particular nutritional criteria. Despite some superficial success, there is plenty more criticism to suggest that the system is fundamentally flawed and in urgent need of major review. So what is actually wrong with the Health Star Rating System? It’s not mandatory; it’s based on nutrients, not whole foods; healthy foods can have fewer stars than junk food; the equation does not consider the level of processing or raw ingredients; &, the food industry sits on the advisory panel.    Source: Susie Burrell, Food stars

FSANZ Update on Allergy Labelling Requirements

Some foods and food ingredients or their components can cause severe allergic reactions including anaphylaxis. Most food allergies are caused by peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, sesame seeds, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. The Food Standards Code requires these foods to be declared on labels whenever they are present as ingredients or as components of food additives or processing aids. If the food is not in a package or is not required to have a label (for example, food prepared at and sold from a takeaway shop), this information must either be displayed in connection with the food or provided to the purchaser if requested.    Source: Allergy labelling   See also related reading from Department of Agriculture: Allergy labelling 2

FSANZ Notifications –

Application A1127 – Processing Aids for Wine. The purpose of this Application is to seek permission for the use of four processing aids, silver chloride, ammonium bisulphite, chitin-glucan and PVI/PVP as processing aids for wine.    Source: Wine aid

Application A1123 – Isomalto-oligosaccharide as a Novel Food. The purpose of the Application is to permit isomalto-oligosaccharide as a novel food for use as an alternative (lower calorie) sweetener and bulk filler in a ranger of general purpose and special purpose foods.    Source: Novel food

FSANZ Recalls -

Lotus & Ming Baby Whiting. The recall is due to the presence of undeclared allergens (egg and milk).    Source: Whiting recall

Authentic Asia Prawn Wonton. The recall is due to the presence of foreign matter (plastic).    Source: Wanton recall

RFA Breaking News

March 2018 Newsletter

  Complementary Medicines (“Dietary supplements”): Therapeutic Goods Amendment (2017 Measures No.1) Bill 2017 Summary of Changes As reported in February 2018 Newsletter, The Therapeutic Goods Amendment (2017 Measures No. 1)…


Complementary Medicines (“Dietary supplements”):

Therapeutic Goods Amendment (2017 Measures No.1) Bill 2017 Summary of Changes As reported in February 2018 Newsletter, The Therapeutic Goods Amendment (2017 Measures No. 1) Bill 2017 was passed by…



Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Amends Food Surveillance Protocols This Australian authority has completed a review of the surveillance tests applied to many imported food products. Fresh and frozen…


Cosmetics (& Household cleaning products):

NICNAS Invites Feedback on General Rules, Categorisation Guidelines and Transitional Rules In Australia, all cosmetics and personal care products are regulated by The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme.…


Marketing News:

ACCC Publication: “Advertising and Selling—A Guide for Business” The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has released this very helpful and comprehensive document outlining all of the important consumer related issues…


This issue of RFA Newsletter is sponsored by:

IME     a trusted insurance broker for small to medium businesses, with expertise in risk management, professional indemnity, public & product liability, and property cover. See more details at bottom…


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