Food Regulation News

Current Consultations (as  of  8  September  2019)
 
AGENCY CODE NAME SUBMISSION DATE
FSANZ
 
 
FSANZ
A1176
 
 
A1171
Enzymatic production of Steviol Glycosides
 
Endo-inulinase from GM Aspergillus oryzae as a Processing aid (Enzyme)
8 October 2019
 
8 October 2019

 

Information on FSANZ food regulation consultations can be found on the FSANZ website.
 
ANZ Food Standards Code - lastest amendment
Amendment No. 187 to the ANZ Food Standards Code was published by FSANZ on 5 September.  The amendment included changes to the Code resulting from a number of completed Applications and Proposals.  
Further information is available on the FSANZ website.
 
 
FSANZ Work Plan
The current FSANZ Work Plan (as of  15 August 2019) can be found on the FSANZ website.

 

Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (16 August 2019)
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 and is chaired by Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck.
 
Key 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
- salmonella enteriditis
 
In addition to items discussed at the meeting, the Forum also ratified a number of recent decisions from out-of-session processes:
- Modernisation of the food regulation system
- Energy labelling of alcoholic beverages
 
The full communique from the meeting can be viewed on the Food Regulation website.

 

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)
FSANZ Corporate Plan 2019-20 - Measuring up for the future
The 2019-20 FSANZ Corporate Plan has been released. The plan provides an overview of strategic priorities and the high quality of work that FSANZ intends to deliver in the year ahead.
 
Read the FSANZ Corporate Plan here.

 

Follow-up report: Strawberry tampering incident debrief
FSANZ have released the follow-up report on the strawberry tampering incident. In May 2019 FSANZ convened a joint debrief meeting with industry, jurisdictions and police to further reflect on the strawberry tampering incident and confirm what systemic changes may be required.
 
Read the report here.

 

ISFR Food Survey Plan 2019-2022
The Implementation Subcommittee for Food Regulation (ISFR) Food Survey Plan for 1 July 2019 – 30 June 2022 has been released. The plan outlines at what surveillance and monitoring activities (such as analytical food surveys) will be conducted over the next three years. These activities are led and managed by agencies in Australia or New Zealand, with input from other jurisdictions in the planning, design, food sampling and/or food analysis for the survey.

Read the plan here.

 

Regulation of Sports supplements in Australia
Supplements cover a range of products in Australia, including vitamins, minerals, sports nutrition products such as protein powders, and other goods that may improve nutrition and performance. Supplements may be regulated as either a food or a medicine in Australia, depending on whether it meets the requirements outlined in the Food Standards Code, or the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989. Determining whether a sports supplement is a food, or a medicine can sometimes be complex.
Manufacturers and importers of products need to know whether the products are regulated as therapeutic goods or as food because different regulatory requirements apply. Consumers may also want to check if the products they are using are classified and regulated suitably.
 
The TGA provides a food-medicine interface guidance tool to help in determining whether a product is a medicine or a food. Some of the considerations include:
 
- the form of the product (capsule, tablet, liquid)
- whether the product contains a scheduled substance
- how the product is represented, i.e. for human therapeutic use
- whether people are likely to perceive the product as being for therapeutic use due to the way it is presented
- the types of claims the product makes
 
 
For further details visit the TGA website.
 
Call for submissions oligosaccharides in foods for infants and young children
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has released a second call for submissions on an application to allow two new substances in infant formula products and formulated supplementary foods for young children (FSFYC).
 
The application is seeking to permit the addition of two oligosaccharides (2′-O-fucosyllactose and Lacto-N-neotetraose) that are identical to those naturally present in human milk.
FSANZ Chief Executive Officer Mark Booth said the oligosaccharides are produced by microbial fermentation using genetically modified production strains.
 
“FSANZ's safety and technical assessment found no public health and safety concerns associated with the addition of these oligosaccharides at the proposed maximum levels, which are within the range of levels found in human milk.
 
“We have considered comments received on the first call for submissions (November 2018) and after further targeted consultation have prepared a draft variation to permit the voluntary addition of these oligosaccharides to infant formula products and FSFYC.
 
“Interested parties are invited to have their say on the draft variation by 6pm Canberra Time 2 September 2019.
 
FSANZ will consider all submissions before a final decision is made. All FSANZ decisions on applications are notified to ministers responsible for food regulation who can ask for a review or agree that the standard should become law.

 

Review of Australia’s food safety management standards (August 2019)
FSANZ is reviewing chapters 3 and 4 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) to ensure a consistent and current approach to through-chain food safety management in Australia. Requirements in chapters 3 and 4 only apply in Australia.

Administrative assessments for P1053 Food Safety Management Tools and P1052 Primary Production and Processing Requirements for High-risk Horticulture are now available from the website.

To stay up to date on the public consultation process for these proposals please email standards.management@foodstandards.gov.au.
 
The AIFST made a submission to FSANZ on the earlier consultation. The submission is available HERE.
 
 
Australian Total Dietary Study Demonstrates the safety of the food supply
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Chief Executive Officer Mark Booth said the results of the 25th Australian Total Diet Study (ATDS), released on 1 July, again demonstrate the safety of the Australian food supply.
 
Mr Booth said 88 foods were tested for 226 agricultural and veterinary chemicals and four metals: arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.
 
“The levels of agricultural and veterinary chemicals were generally very low, with a majority of samples having no detectable residues," Mr Booth said.
 
“Estimated dietary exposures for all but one chemical were below the relevant acceptable daily intakes (ADIs), indicating no public health and safety concerns," Mr Booth said.
 
“Estimated dietary exposure to the insecticide prothiofos exceeded the ADI for some population age groups. FSANZ informed the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) which subsequently worked with industry who voluntarily changed the way prothiofos is used to ensure that risks for Australian consumers are acceptably low.
 
“For metal contaminants, all detections were below the maximum levels set in the Food Standards Code and consistent with international levels.
 
“Estimated dietary exposure to methylmercury (through the consumption of fish) exceeded the provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) for children aged 2 to 5 years. The risks in this case are balanced by the known benefits of fish consumption. FSANZ has published consumer advice to manage dietary exposure to mercury while highlighting the health benefits."
 
 
Recalls and complaints: new videos on the FSANZ YouTube channel
FSANZ have two new videos available on their YouTube Channel. Check out the video about recalls for food businessesvideo about how to make a food complaints and the video on product datemarking.

 

 
Department of Agriculture and Water Resources – Failing Food Reports
Failing food reports identify foods that have failed analytical testing or do not meet the compositional requirements of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.
The most recent Failing Foods Reports up to June 2019 can be accessed here.