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, News.com.au 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

Complementary medicines ("Dietary supplements"):

Reforms to the Regulatory Framework for Complementary Medicines In February 2017 the TGA announced a public consultation, ‘Consultation: Reforms to the regulatory framework for complementary medicines: Assessment pathways’. A total…

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Foods:

NSW Food Authority Name and Shame Serves Up Nine Years of Food Safety The NSW Food Authority’s 'Name and Shame' register reaches another important milestone this month, chalking up nine years of…

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Cosmetics & Household Chemicals

Dishwasher Tablets: Campaign to Eradicate Products that aren't Squeaky Clean In a move to protect Australia's waterways and wildlife from algal blooms, the environment pressure group DoSomething today launches a…

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Marketing News:

Probiotics in China — ‘The market is set to explode’ The probiotics sector is forecast to soar by 23% in China to 2020 and even greater long-term growth beckons if…

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Complementary medicines:

TGA Results Confirm Effectiveness After Sunscreen Testing In response to reported concerns during the past Australian summer that sunscreens were failing to provide adequate sun protection, the TGA undertook laboratory…

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Foods:

CHOICE Makes Weighty Argument to Leave Food Labelling Alone Consumer group CHOICE has turned its attention to the weight of your favourite supermarket items as the government initiates a review.…

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