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. The group has “weighed in”, so to speak, on an unfolding scenario that could see product weights removed from the front of packaging. That’s what the food industry wants but the government says it will canvas views of all consumers before making a decision. For CHOICE, the decision is simple: Do nothing.    Source: News.com.au Weighty choice

Health Department Consults on the 'As Prepared' Rules for the Health Star Rating System

The Health Star Rating (HSR) Advisory Committee (HSRAC), responsible for overseeing the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the HSR system, is reappraising the form of the food (‘as prepared’) rules in The Guide for Industry to the HSR Calculator . On 28 April 2017 the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (Forum) noted suggestions from stakeholders to improve the HSR system, including the ‘as prepared’ rules, and asked the HSRAC to address these concerns as a matter of priority. Consultation closes June 30th 2017    Source: As Prepared

Media in Overdrive as Health Star Rating System Goes From Sweet to Sour

Opinions swirl on all sides as the Australian Government announces that it will be reviewing its controversial Health Star Rating System. Typical of the complaints against the current HSRS is this from Peter FitzSimons: “(Recently) the government announced it would be conducting a review of its Health Star Rating System on food products, which, as you know, is meant to be the official guide as to just how healthy a product is, by virtue of the number of stars it displays on the package… The system is predicated on the notion that these stars are not handed out in a measure of overall health, but only how they measure up against other products in their food group. Say no more. And if your product doesn't measure up, no worries. You don't have to play because The Health Star Rating System is not mandatory. You can just opt out!”    Sources: SMH, Peter FitzSimons Health Star Rating ; Big Sugar; Read also from News.com.au HSR2; and also from HSRS Homepage HSRS Gov.

Raw Milk Conviction Sweet Success for Food Safety

A woman has been fined a total of $28,000 and ordered to pay professional costs of $25,000 after she pleaded guilty to four charges relating to the sale of unpasteurised or ‘raw’ milk in Goulburn Local Court. She was fined under section 104 of the Food Act 2003 for selling milk which was not pasteurised in contravention of Food Regulation 2010, and for conducting a food business without a licence as required by the Regulation. She also pleaded guilty to two charges under section 21 of the Act for selling unpasteurised milk that exceeded acceptable microbiological limits for standard plate counts and Listeria.    Source: Raw deal

Biosecurity Officials Seize Concerning Amount of Contraband at Gold Coast Airport

Biosecurity officers seized more than 6760 items of biosecurity concern from the Gold Coast Airport in 2016, up 15 per cent from 2015. The increase in seizures at the airport was a concern for all Australians because exotic pests and diseases have the potential to hurt our way of life. Coolangatta isn’t the only airport to have increased seizures in 2016. About 273,000 items of biosecurity concern were seized across Australia’s international airports in 2016, up by more than 6 per cent from 2015.    Source: News.com.au Biosecurity

Department of Agriculture Releases Latest ‘Failing Food Report’

This report details food that was found to fail under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme during the month of April. The following link details where noncompliant food was detected. The noncompliant food was not distributed for sale in Australia. It was destroyed by the importer or re-exported to the country of origin under department supervision. Where a product is found to be noncompliant because the label does not have the mandatory allergen declaration, the product must be destroyed, re-exported or re-labelled to include the mandatory declaration. Future consignments continue to be targeted at 100 per cent until a history of compliance is established. The source of ‘food fails’ were either microbiological contamination (e-coli, listeria, salmonella), toxins detected (histamine, aflatoxin), or illegal chemical additives (various).    Source: Food fails

NSW Food Authority Recalls –

Hershey's Chocolate Products -A & W Hollier Wholesale Distributors Pty Ltd has recalled assorted Hershey’s chocolate products from Aldi stores in NSW, ACT, QLD, VIC, SA and WA, due to the potential presence of allergens (peanuts and tree nuts) which are not declared on the allergen statement.    Source: Hershey's

Creative Gourmet Frozen Mixed Berries - Entyce Food Ingredients Pty Ltd is conducting a precautionary recall of Creative Gourmet Frozen Mixed Berries. The recall is due to potential Hepatitis A virus contamination.    Source: Hep Berries

Lupin: New Requirement for Mandatory Allergen Labelling

Last month lupin was added to the list of nine allergens that must be declared on food labels. The changes mean all food businesses will need to declare lupin on food labels whenever it is present as an ingredient or as a component of food additives or processing aids. Australia and New Zealand have one of the highest rates of allergic disorders in the world, so it’s critical that food businesses get their allergen labelling right. Food business will have 12 months from 25 May 2017 to meet these requirements.    Source: Lupin allergy    

Consultation on Draft Guidance to Food Regulators in Conducting Their Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement Activities

The Implementation Subcommittee for Food Regulation (ISFR) is updating its guidance on compliance, monitoring and enforcement. This updated material will provide guidance to food regulators in conducting their compliance, monitoring and enforcement activities. The updated guidance will establish expectations for industry stakeholders on the approach taken by food regulators to compliance, monitoring and enforcement. In this context, ISFR is now seeking comments from stakeholders on the draft revised guidance on compliance, monitoring and enforcement. Submissions close at COB 28 July 2017    Source: Food regulators

Consultation Paper Released: New framework for Regulation of Nutritive Substances and Novel Foods

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) today released a consultation paper on a framework for regulating nutritive substances and new (or novel) foods. The proposed new framework was developed following feedback from stakeholders on Proposal P1024: Revision of the Regulation of Nutritive Substances & Novel Foods. The consultation paper is available from the Food Standards website and is available for comment until 6:00pm (Canberra Time) 28 July 2017.    Source: Novel foods

RFA Breaking News

RFA Sends Condolences:

Robert Forbes and all of our associates are aware of the great tragedy that has recently unfolded in USA. As regular visitors to Supply Side West at the Mandalay Bay,…

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Marketing News:

The Rise of Vegan, Gluten-Free and Kombucha Fancy a vegan steak with a gluten-free beer? It appears you’re not alone. Over the past few years, the number of veggie and…

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Complementary Medicines (“Dietary supplements”):

TGA Consultation: Business Process Improvements Supporting Complementary Medicines Assessment Pathways The TGA is seeking comments from interested parties on a range of reforms to the regulatory framework for complementary medicines…

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Foods:

FSANZ Food Allergen Portal Food allergies can be life threatening. For people who have a food allergy the only way to manage the allergy is to avoid the food allergen.…

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Cosmetics (& Household cleaning products):

The Push to Close Animal Cosmetic Testing Loopholes in Australia A cross-party group of federal senators is pushing to tighten Australia's laws around cosmetic testing on animals, with claims that…

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RFA Training Courses for Listed Medicines, Foods, Cosmetics – Now Available

Are you new to the Australian market? Are you unsure about how to comply with recent changes to TGA regulations such as the new TGA Order 92? Do you have…

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