Food Regulation News

Current Consultations (as  of  16 February 2020)

 

AGENCY
CODE
NAME
SUBMISSION DATE

FSANZ

P1044

Plain English Allergen Labelling

27 February 2020

FSANZ P1052 Primary Production and Processing Requirements for High-risk Horticulture 18 March 2020
FSANZ A1184

Glucoamylase from GM Aspergillus niger (donor Trametes cingulata) 

24 March 2020
FSANZ A1185

Alpha-amylase from GM Aspergillus niger as a processing aid (enzyme) 

24 March 2020

 


Information on FSANZ food regulation consultations can be found on the FSANZ website.
 

Pure and highly concentrated caffeine foods

On 12 December FSANZ approved the prohibition of the retail sale of foods in which total caffeine is present in a concentration of 5% or more (if the food is a solid or semi-solid food) or 1% or more (if the food is a liquid food). The prohibition came into force on this date.  The ban follows a report to Ministers in August 2019 which made five recommendations for strengthening regulations and consumer warnings in relation to caffeine powder and high caffeine content food. Find out more.

 

Food derived using new breeding techniques (NBTs) (12 December 2019)

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) today released the Final Report on its review of food derived using new breeding techniques (NBTs).

FSANZ CEO Mark Booth said the Final Report is the result of a significant amount of work by FSANZ, including extensive consultation with stakeholders and the community on whether the current definitions in the Code for genetically modified foods are fit for purpose given recent advancements in genetic technologies.

“The Review found that while there are diverse views in the community about the safety and regulation of food derived from NBTs, many agreed the current definitions are no longer fit for purpose and lack clarity,” Mr Booth said.

“Based on these findings, FSANZ will prepare a proposal to amend the definitions in the Code in the New Year.

“The Proposal will look at options to strengthen current regulations and make it clearer which foods should be subject to pre-market safety assessment by FSANZ.

“As with all Proposals to amend the Code, FSANZ will consult with stakeholders and the community to ensure they can have their say.

“We understand this is an area where stakeholders have different views and concerns so communication and engagement will be a big part of our consultation process.

“I’d like to thank all of the stakeholders who contributed to the final review and its recommendations,” Mr Booth said.

More information

Read the Final Report

The Report made three key recommendations:

  • Recommendation 1: FSANZ prepare a proposal to revise and modernise the definitions in the Code to make them clearer and better able to accommodate existing and emerging genetic technologies.

  • Recommendation 2: As part of the proposal, FSANZ give consideration to process and non-process based definitions and the need to ensure that NBT foods are regulated in a manner that is commensurate with the risk they pose.

  • Recommendation 3: Throughout the proposal process FSANZ will ensure there is open communication and active engagement with all interested parties and also explore ways to raise awareness about GM and NBT foods.

Based on these findings, we will start work on a new proposal to amend the definitions in the Code early next year. We anticipate that a first Call for Submissions will be released for public consultation in the second quarter of 2020.

 
Plain English Allergen Labelling (P1044)
 
FSANZ is working on a proposal to make allergen labelling requirements clearer and more consistent, to help food allergen-sensitive consumers and food businesses.
 
The second call for submissions proposes draft amendments to the Food Standards Code. The purpose of these changes is to make allergen information clearer, more consistent and prominent for consumers.
 
In summary, these changes would require:
- the use of mandatory specified terms for allergen declarations
 
- the separate declaration of molluscs; individual tree nuts: almond, Brazil nut, cashew, hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, pine nut, pistachio and walnut; and wheat, barley, rye, oats or spelt or their hybrids
 
- for packaged foods: declaration of allergens in the statement of ingredients using bold font and in a separate emboldened allergen summary statement; and use of the terms ‘gluten’ or 'tree nut' in the allergen summary statement when these are present.
 
AIFST will be making a submission to this consultation and will be seeking input from interested members to inform the submission.  Please contact Fiona Fleming if you are interested in contributing to the AIFST submission.
 
 
FSANZ Regulatory Science Strategy
 
FSANZ published their Regulatory Science Strategy in October 2019.  The Regulatory Science Strategy is a core document under the FSANZ Corporate Plan. This forward-looking strategy ensures that FSANZ remains prepared to respond to the challenges of global trends and emerging risks in a dynamic food system. It provides a clear strategic direction to ensure that FSANZ continues to provide strong evidence-based scientific advice to inform decision-making.
 
The plan is available on the FSANZ website.
 
FSANZ Work Plan
The current FSANZ Work Plan (as of  10 January 2020) can be found on the FSANZ website.

 

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 December 2019 can be accessed here.

 

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.
 
 
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.