Coag Independent Review Of Food Labelling Law And Policy

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5th November 2010, 01:58pm - Views: 658




5 November 2010


Following two rounds of public consultation, the Independent Review of Food

Labelling Law and Policy is now in the final stages of writing its report.

The Panel, chaired by Dr Neal Blewett AC, met recently for its 13th meeting and

reported good progress in its thorough evaluation of information gathered during the

review process, including the views and ideas submitted by stakeholders, to ensure

that it formulates robust recommendations that will withstand scrutiny and address

the Terms of Reference for the Review.

In March this year, the Review Panel embarked on its second phase of stakeholder

consultation, which included public meetings held in all capital cities in Australia and

New Zealand and an invitation to the public to provide written submissions in

response to the Panel’s Issues Consultation Paper. 

“The public’s response to our second round of consultation was very pleasing. More

than 550 people attended the public consultation forums, and we received almost

600 written submissions from stakeholders in response to our Issues Consultation

Paper,” Review Panel Chair, Dr Blewett, said.

“The Panel appreciates the time taken by so many stakeholders and members of the

general public to contribute to the Review process.  We know a lot of people –

consumers, interest groups, industry and governments - are looking to the outcomes

of this Review to satisfy their concerns and to motivate change and I and the other

panel members are very conscious of the responsibility we have to meet people’s


Dr Blewett said a range of issues generated considerable debate during the

consultation. Examples of these include the role of food labelling in addressing

population health priorities, and the extent to which information about food

ingredients, production processes, manufacturing technologies, and the presence of

additives and allergens should be declared on food labels. 

“There were diverse views about the current requirements and further justification for

country of origin labelling and extensive discussion about the degree to which

endorsements and health claims should be standardised and regulated,” Dr Blewett


“Another key issue raised by stakeholders was enforcement and the need for an

adequate and effective means of ensuring the truthfulness and accuracy of the

information provided on food labels.  

Misc Miscellaneous Australian Government Department Of Health& Ageing 1 image

“The Panel is directly approaching individuals and organisations if we require any

information to further refine our recommendations.”  

The Review Panel will make a presentation to the Food Standards Ministerial Council

at its meeting on 3 December 2010. COAG will decide on the public release of the

report after it receives the final Report in early 2011. 

More information, including public submissions (unless confidentiality was requested)

Media contact: Media Unit 02 6289 7400 

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