Amendments to Imported Food Regulations

Changes to the Imported Food Control Regulations 2019 take effect on 1 October 2019. There are three changes that will potentially impact importers and their brokers: 1. Commercial imports taken to be for private consumption reduced from 10 kilograms/litres to 1 kilogram/litre; 2. All commercial imports of prohibited plants and fungi will be subject to the Imported Food Inspection Scheme (IFIS); 3. Clarification of powers of authorised officers.     Source: Food control


Department of Agriculture Toughens Stance on Importer Transgressions

The Biosecurity Act has been in operation for 3 years and the Department of Agriculture is adopting a less tolerant attitude towards non-compliance. The department will issue infringement notices and take other enforcement action in appropriate circumstances.   Source: Biosecurity crackdown


Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation Communiqué

The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) met on 16 August 2019 to consider a range of food regulation matters. The Forum comprises all Australian and New Zealand Ministers responsible for food, and the Australian Local Government Association. Key topics and outcomes from the meeting include: Health star rating five-year review; supporting the public health objectives to reduce chronic disease related to overweight and obesity; labelling of sugars on packaged foods and drinks; fast food menu board labelling; fermented beverages; and, salmonella enteriditis. In addition to items discussed at the meeting, the Forum also ratified a number of recent decisions from out-of-session processes, including modernisation of the food regulation system, and, energy labelling of alcoholic beverages.   Source: Food forum communiqué


Agriculture Department Updates Formulated Supplementary Sports Food Regulations

The Advisory Committee on Novel Foods (ACNF) has determined that Acacia rigidula is to be a novel food. As such, the safety of this food has not been established, and there is no tradition of use as food in Australia and New Zealand; and there may be potential for adverse effects if consumed. [Supplementary sports foods are foods specifically formulated to assist sports people in achieving specific nutritional or performance goals. Some ‘sports supplements’, particularly those in tablet or capsule form, may be considered to be therapeutic goods, rather than formulated supplementary sports foods. Determining whether a product is a food or a therapeutic good can be difficult at times because it depends on many factors, such as ingredients, dosage form and in particular the way in which the product is presented for supply, including advertising and labelling].   Source: Supplementary sports food


July 2019 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 latest report details food that was found to fail under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme during the month of June. Among the usual pathogenic organisms detected in these imported foods are such organisms as Staphylococci E coli, Listeria, and Salmonella, and assorted toxins such as hydrocyanic acid, arsenic, aflatoxin and many more. Of particular note are the number of foods ‘failing’ due to the illegal presence of added vitamins and or minerals and also irradiation.   Source: Latest failed foods (Please see also FSANZ Food recall list )

FSANZ Notifications—

Proposal P1054 – Pure and highly concentrated caffeine products (URGENT): This urgent proposal is to amend the Code to prohibit the retail sale of pure and highly concentrated caffeine food products.   Source: Caffeine urgency

Application A1174 – Xylanase from Trichoderma reesei as a PA (Enzyme): The purpose of this Application is to permit the use of Xylanase from Trichoderma reesei as a Processing Aid.   Source: Trichoderma enzyme

Application A1184 – Glucoamylase from GM Aspergillus niger (donor Trametes cingulata): The purpose of the application is to approve the use of glucoamylase sourced from GM Aspergillus niger containing the gene from Trametes cingulata.   Source: GM aspergillus

Application A1185 – Alpha-amylase from Aspergillus niger as a Processing aid (enzyme): The purpose of this application is to approve the use of Alpha-amylase sourced from Rhizomucor pusillus in GM Aspergillus niger.  Source: Alpha amylase

Application A1186 – Soy Leghemoglobin in meat analogue products: The purpose of the application is to allow the use of soy leghemoglobin derived from P.pastoris as a component in meat analogue products.   Source: Meat analogue

Application A1188 – Gibberellic Acid as a Processing Aid: The purpose of the Application is to allow Gibberellic Acid to be used as a processing aid for all cereal grain germination and retain the limit of GMP.   Source: Gibberellic acid


Functional Foods and Supplements to Contribute Towards $25bn Australian Market by 2030

Australian ‘health and wellness’ products including functional foods, supplements and personalised nutrition, along with more sustainable products such as alternative protein, will become a AU$25bn billion market by 2030, according to new data.   Source: (Copyright) Guan Yu Lim, Food Navigator-Asia Functional foods market


How to Read Australian Food Labels

When it comes to food labelling in Australia, it is a legal requirement for all packaged foods to have a food label containing important safety and nutrition information which helps consumers compare one food item with another and find high-quality foods with high nutritional value. Food Standards Australia and New Zealand [FSANZ] says there should be 12 components to a food label – including dates, ingredients, vitamins, certain allergens, instructions for storage and preparation, and advisory and warning statements - with the nutrition information panel [NIP] and the ingredients list being the most important information for consumers.   Source: Amy Mills, New Idea Understanding food labels   (Please also compare with French food labelling regulations)

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