Heinz to Pay $2.25 Million Fine for 'Deceptive' Peddling of Toddler Snack

Food giant Heinz has been ordered by the Federal Court to pay $2.25 million in penalties after being found guilty of "misleadingly and deceptively" targeting sugar-heavy snacks at toddlers. But the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which initiated the legal battle, remains unsatisfied with the result, having sought $10 million in penalties. Earlier this year, the Federal Court found Heinz had misled the public about the nutritional content of its Little Kids Shredz range, aimed at children aged one to three years. It found the statements and pictures of fruit and vegetables on the packaging "conjured up impressions of nutritiousness and health", even though the sticky snack was two-thirds sugar.    Source: Esther Han, SMH Heinz penalty

Labelling of Sugars on Packaged Foods and Drinks

The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) is investigating labelling approaches for providing information on sugars to consumers. The Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC) is responsible for coordinating policy advice to the Forum and will facilitate stakeholder consultation on the labelling of sugars on packaged foods and drinks. FRSC is inviting stakeholders including industry, public health and consumer organisations and other interested parties to make submissions on the Consultation Paper. A summary of submissions will be produced and published on the Food Regulation website. Submissions close at 11:59pm on 19 September  2018 Australian Eastern Time.   Source: Sugar labelling    (Editor’s note: Please see also related story “Food Standards Agency Survey Highlights Sugar Fears”, courtesy of Rod Addy, Food Manufacture Sugar worries ).

FSANZ Called for Comment on Draft Cost Recovery Arrangements

Food Standards Australia New Zealand has called for comment on a revised approach to cost recovery arrangements. Less than two per cent of FSANZ’s total revenue is generated through cost recovery and only a small number of applications to amend the Code incur costs. The deadline for submissions was 2 August 2018 and results will be published when they come to hand.    Source: Cost recovery

Review of Fast Food Menu Labelling Schemes

The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) is conducting a review of fast food menu labelling schemes in Australia. The review will consider the effectiveness of the fast food menu labelling schemes including implementation and emerging issues since the release of the endorsed National Principles for Introducing Point-of-Sale Nutrition Information in Standard Food Outlets in 2011. At its meeting of 29 June 2018, the Forum agreed that further targeted consultation is to be undertaken to develop policy options that aim to improve and strengthen fast food menu labelling in Australia. A broader range of stakeholders will be engaged in the next stage of consultation.   Source: Fast food labelling

FSANZ Notifications—

Application A1129 – Monk Fruit Extract as a Food Additive: ​The purpose of the Application is to permit monk fruit extract as a food additive, specifically as an intense sweetener.   Source: Monk fruit sweetener

Application A1144 – Re-categorising Coconut Milk for Food Additive Permissions: The purpose of the Application is to consider whether the food category for food additive permissions for coconut milk products is more appropriate under fruits, rather than beverages.   Source: Coconut milk

Application A1146 – Thermolysin (Protease) as a Processing Aid (Enzyme): The purpose of this Application is to permit the use of thermolysin (protease) from Anoxybacillus caldiproteolyticus as a processing aid in protein, dairy, egg, meat and fish processing and flavour production.   Source: Processing aid

Application A1151–Beta-Galactosidase from Papiliotrema terrestris as a Processing Aid (Enzyme): The purpose of the Application is to amend Schedule 18 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code to include ß-Galactosidase from Papiliotrema terrestris as a Processing Aid.   Source: B-Galctosidase

Application A1153 – Endo xylanase from T. reesei as a Processing Aid: The purpose of the Application is to include a genetically modified strain of Trichoderma reesei as a permitted source for Endo-1,4 (3) - ß -xylanase (E.C.3.2.1.8)   Source:  E-xylanase

Application A1154 – Food derived from insect-protected cotton line MON88702: The purpose of the Application is to seek approval for food derived from a genetically-modified insect-protected cotton line, MON88702   Source: GM cotton food

Application A1157 – Enzymatic production of Rebaudioside M: The purpose of this Application is to seek approval for a new specification for rebaudioside M produced by an enzymatic biosynthesis method.   Source: Rebaudioside enzyme

Application A1158 – Rosemary extract as a food additive: The purpose of this Application is to seek approval to permit the use of rosemary extract as a food additive (antioxidant).   Source: Rosemary antioxidant

Application A1168–Glucoamylase from GM Aspergillus niger as a Processing Aid (Enzyme): ​​​The purpose of the Application is to permit the use of glucoamylase produced from a genetically modified strain of Aspergillus niger as a Processing Aid.   Source: GM aspergillus

Proposal M1015 – Maximum Residue Limits (2017): The purpose of this proposal is to consider varying certain maximum residue limits (MRLs) for residues of specified agricultural and veterinary chemicals that may occur in food commodities.   Source: MRL food

Australian (NSW) Food Authority RecallsSource: Current recalls

Frozen Vegetable Product Recalls: Contain a ‘particularly dangerous strain’ of Listeria monocytogenes     (Full list: Frozen food recall )

Woombye Cheeses: due to microbial (high E.coli count) contamination

Gary Gumball (Ice cream): due to the potential presence of foreign matter (glass)

Rafferty’s Garden Organic Baby Rice Cereal: due to incorrect packaging information and the presence of an undeclared allergen (gluten / oats)

Lactose Free Whole Milk Powder: due to the presence of foreign matter (metal)

White Mill Pancake Shake: due to the presence of an undeclared allergen (egg)

Lotus Certified Organic Millet Meal: due to the presence of an undeclared allergen (gluten).

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. For this reason there are laws in place, for example mandatory labelling to help people who have a food allergy avoid food allergens. Many sectors in the community also have a role in assisting in managing food allergies including the food industry, health professionals, and schools. This food allergen portal was created by the Allergen Collaboration to provide different sectors in the community with links to best practice food allergen resources and key messages to promote in the different sectors.   Source: Food allergen portal

July 2018 Failing Food Report

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources targets and monitors food determined to pose a high or medium risk to public health. Risk food is targeted at the rate of 100 per cent until a history of food safety compliance is established. When an emerging human health and safety hazard is identified in food, the department may temporarily increase monitoring and testing. This report details food that was found to fail under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme during the month of July. Among the pathogenic organisms detected in these imported foods were, Salmonella, Bacillus cereus and E. coli as well as the toxins Aflatoxin, Histamine, caffeine, betel nut and more.   Source: July Failing foods

RFA Breaking News

Complementary Medicines (“Dietary supplements”):

  TGA Revamps Complaints Handling for the Advertising of Therapeutic Goods The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is responsible for ensuring that therapeutic goods available for supply and use in Australia…

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Foods:

  Honey Scandal Rolls on: Almost 20 per cent of Australian Honey Samples Found to Not be Pure As reported by this newsletter in September 2018, Australia’s honey is not…

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Cosmetics and household cleaning products:

  The Cosmetics Standard 2007 “Sunsetted” on 1 October 2018 The Cosmetics Standard ceased to have effect on 1 October 2018, due to "sunset" provisions in the Legislation Act 2003.…

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Marketing News:

  Natural Health Products Account For One In Every Three Dollars Spent on Non-Prescription Medicines The latest report on Australia's health showed that nearly $1.5 billion was spent on natural…

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Complementary Medicines (“Dietary supplements”):

  Australians Rewrite Complementary Medicine Rulebook Times are changing in the world of Australian complementary medicine regulations and New Zealand producers will need to act fast or risk losing out to…

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Foods:

  Honey Scandal Continues to Grow As reported by this newsletter in December 2014, Australia’s consumer watchdog, the ACCC, fined two companies for selling “Turkish Sugar Syrup” labelled as honey..…

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