ACCC Specifies Country of Origin Labelling Laws

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has stressed that under 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). It’s up to individual businesses to work out what type of origin claim they can make about their products. From 1 July 2018, businesses must label their products according to the requirements of the Food Standards Code.   Sources: CoOL claims & CoOL foods (Editor’s notePlease see related story under "Complementary Medicines", in this newsletter)

Australian Department of Industry to Apply Country of Origin Requirements to NZ Products

The Department of Industry says that it intends that the new Australian Country of Origin requirements will apply to products from New Zealand, despite a free trade arrangement existing between the two countries. This article, by FoodLegal, examines the extraneous nature of the points made by the Department of Industry and the ineffectual aspects on New Zealand imports. FoodLegal maintains the view that New Zealand remains an advantageous jurisdiction to make and sell products destined for the Australian market without bearing the same regulatory burden as Australian products face under the new Country of Origin regime applicable to Australian packaged foods.   Source: Joe Lederman, Food Legal CoOL NZ

Agriculture Department Gets Tough on Foods Arriving Without a Permit

The Department of Agricultur & Water Resources has alerted importers of conditionally non-prohibited goods that require an import permit and agents acting on importers’ behalf, of recent changes. From 9 April 2018, the department will no longer facilitate the clearance of conditionally non-prohibited goods that arrive without the required import permit. Goods that require a permit, but arrive without one, including where an application is currently under consideration, will be directed for export from Australian territory or required to be destroyed in an approved manner.   Source: Food permits

NSW Food Authority RecallsSource: Current recalls

Washed Rind Cheeses - Washed Rind Pty Ltd has recalled a variety of cheeses made in France due to potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

Inghams Sweet Chilli Chicken Breast Tender - Ingham’s has recalled Ingham's Sweet Chilli Chicken Breast Tenders as the product may contain pieces of hard plastic.

Creative Gourmet Pomegranate - Entyce Food Ingredients is conducting a precautionary recall of its Creative Gourmet Pomegranate Arils 180g, due to potential Hepatitis A contamination. (Editor's note: Check your freezer!)

New Zealand in Focus: Exports, Regulations and Innovation Take Centre Stage at NHPNZ Summit

RFA Regulatory Affairs was delighted to participate in the recent Natural Health Products New Zealand, Annual Summit, held in Nelson. We not only met with friends old and new but also learnt so much about NZ’s booming exports, the sector's commitment to innovation, and ongoing frustration over a lack of domestic regulatory advances.     (An excellent summary of the NHPNZ Summit can be read here via this Special Edition - Nutraingredients Asia NHPNZ Summit )

Busy Summer for Frontline Biosecurity Officers in New Zealand

New Zealand's border biosecurity defenders have just been through their busiest summer on record, says the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). MPI biosecurity officers screened some 2 million passenger arrivals for risk goods between December 2017 and February 2018, a 5% increase on last summer.   Source: NZ bio-security

FSANZ Notifications—

Proposal P1044 – Plain English Allergen Labelling: The aim of this proposal is to make allergen labelling requirements clearer, which will help food allergen-sensitive consumers and food businesses. The Food Standards Code already contains a mandatory requirement to label 10 allergens; however it does not include requirements for the terminology that should be used. Submissions on this proposal have been extended to 6pm (Canberra time) 10 May 2018.   Source: Plain English allergens

Proposal P1047– Review of regulatory nutrient reference values: ​The purpose of the Proposal is to review and update the regulatory nutrient reference values in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code in light of the 2006 and 2017 Australia/New Zealand nutrient reference values.   Source: Nutrient reference values

Call for submissions on new processing aid: Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has called for submissions on an application to allow the use of thermolysin as a processing aid. The enzyme would be used in the manufacture or processing of foods including dairy, egg, meat, fish, yeast, protein products and flavourings. The closing date for submissions is 6pm (Canberra time) 24 May 2018.   Source: Thermolysin enzyme

Call for requests: 2018 Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) harmonisation requests [Australia only]: FSANZ considers changes to maximum residue limits in the Code to harmonise with MRLs established by Codex Alimentarius Commission or by a regulatory authority in a recognised jurisdiction where the food commodity is produced. These changes are considered through an MRL harmonisation proposal and FSANZ usually undertakes one harmonisation proposal a year. The call for MRL harmonisation requests is now open for 2018 for all stakeholders and interested persons. Requests must be lodged with FSANZ by 6pm (Canberra time) Wednesday 6 June 2018.   Source: MRL harmonisation

NZ Vineyard Workers Pay the Price for Labelling Banned Pork Sausages as Squid

Two Thai vineyard workers have both been fined NZ$1,900 and ordered to pay court costs of NZ$130 each after bringing in high-risk pork sausages to New Zealand from Asia. The pair's offending came to light after they arrived in New Zealand on separate flights directly from Singapore one day apart from each other in October last year. The court heard that when biosecurity staff checked both women's luggage, they discovered a sealed package labelled 'dried squid' but which actually contained pork sausages as well as dried squid. The women denied knowledge of the hidden sausages and both blamed their mothers for putting the product into the same packet as the dried squid. Pork is prohibited from entry into New Zealand and is considered especially risky due to the prevalence of foot-and-mouth disease in Thailand.   Source: Prohibited pork

RFA Breaking News

Complementary Medicines (“Dietary supplements”):

  Therapeutic Goods (Permissible Ingredients) Determination No. 2 of 2018 – Update The Therapeutic Goods (Permissible Ingredients) Determination No. 2 of 2018 was registered on the Federal Register of Legislation…

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Foods:

  Lupin Allergen Declaration Now Mandatory Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is reminding food businesses that mandatory allergen labelling requirements for lupin began on 26 May 2018. FSANZ CEO…

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Cosmetics (& Household cleaning products):

  Microbeads Now Banned in New Zealand: Is Your Product Affected? Microbeads are tiny plastic particles, including plastic-based glitter, that are added to products to increase their cleaning or scrubbing…

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Marketing News:

  5 New Rules for Direct Selling Success It used to be that choosing how you wanted to sell your products using a direct selling method was a fairly simple…

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Complementary Medicines (“Dietary supplements”):

  TGA Releases Updated Australian Regulatory Guidelines For Complementary Medicines (ARGCM) The Australian Regulatory Guidelines for Complementary Medicines (ARGCM) provide information for manufacturers, sponsors, healthcare professionals and the general public…

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Foods:

  Failing Food Report This report details food that was found to fail under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme. The noncompliant food was not distributed for sale in Australia. It…

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