Steve McCutcheon, chief executive of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (Fsanz) said the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) had lodged an application to extend the transition date for the requirements by one year to January 2017.
‘Source’, ‘good source’ and ‘excellent source’
Standard 1.2.7, which applies to nutrition, health and related claims, became law in January 2013, and food companies have been told they must comply with the standard by January 18, 2016.
The qualifying criteria for nutrition content claims about dietary fibre is 2g for “source” claims, 4g for “good source” claims and 7g for “excellent source” claims, each per serving.
During the development of the standard, some manufacturers expressed concern that these criteria were set above the criteria in the voluntary 1995 claims code of practice, and that this would affect their ability to make nutrition content claims about dietary fibre.
Late last year Fsanz committed to considering this issue further over three-years before Standard 1.2.7 is fully implemented.
Stakeholder views sought
“The requirements are part of a health claims standard which has a three-year transition period finishing on January 18, 2016,” McCutcheon said.
“At the request of industry, Fsanz reviewed the requirements for nutrition content claims about dietary fibre and decided to make no change.
“The AFGC is seeking an extension of the transition period to allow for implementation work that was deferred by manufacturers while the review was undertaken.
“Fsanz is seeking stakeholder views on this issue. We particularly encourage submissions from industry stakeholders who are in the process of transitioning to the new claim requirements as well as from those who have already made labelling or product changes.”
The closing date for new submissions is November 20, 2014.