Australia launches guide to new labelling law

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food

A guide to help the food industry understand new country of origin
labelling rules, set to be launched in Australia this June, has
been unveiled by the country's health minister.

The guide, Country of Origin Labelling of Food, aims to help food processors and retailers of all sizes meet the requirements of the upcoming law.

From 8 June this year, all unpackaged fresh and processed fruit, vegetables, nuts and seafood must say which country they come from, including Australia.

Unpackaged fresh and processed pork products must also be labelled with their country of origin by 8 December this year. The changes to packaged foods must be completed by December 2007.

The law will not apply to other unpackaged foods such as lamb, chicken, eggs or dairy products.

The new standard was finalised last October by safety body Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). New Zealand, however, opted out of the new rules.

Christopher Pyne, Australia's minister for health and ageing, this month urged "all state and territory agencies responsible for food to ensure that their local food businesses and retailers are aware of these new requirements"​.

FSANZ has also been assessing the feasibility of extending country-of-origin labelling to two or less fruit or vegetables packaged together, including where other incidental ingredients were included.

Pyne, who chairs the body, said it was currently seeking public feedback on this idea and would report back to the Australian government later this month.

Related topics: Policy, Oceania

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