The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation discussed sugar claims in relation to alcoholic beverages first discussed the issue last November.
Forum ministers said they were aware of an increasing number of alcoholic drinks for sale in Australia and New Zealand with the claim they are ‘% sugar-free’.
It also stated that ministers were concerned that these claims were misleading, and that alcohol was being promoted as a healthier choice for consumers when public health advice is to limit alcohol intake.
Under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code - Standard 1.2.7 - Nutrition, Health and Related Claims, nutrition content claims are not allowed on alcoholic beverages that contain more than 1.15% alcohol with the exception of claims about energy, gluten or carbohydrate.
Ministers asked FSANZ to review the matter, with the regulator ruling that was justification for clarifying the existing rules..
FSANZ noted: “Based on the technical assessment, FSANZ has agreed to raise a proposal to clarify Standard 1.2.7 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code in line with the original policy intent that prohibits claims on alcoholic beverages in relation to sugar and carbohydrate. This work will be undertaken over the next 12 months and includes stakeholder consultation.”