Traffic Light Labelling system rejected by Federal Government
but other recommendations likely to be implemented
The Federal Government yesterday announced that it does not
support the Traffic Light Labelling system.
The Traffic Light Labelling system was one of the key
recommendations in Labelling Logic, the report released earlier
this year by the Independent Review of Food Labelling Law and
Policy. The proposed Traffic Light Labelling system would have seen
front of pack traffic light labelling for products which contain
general or high level health claims, featuring a red, amber or
green marking for key nutrients. Products with higher fat, sugar or
salt content would get a red mark, with products with a green mark
identified as a healthier option.
The Federal Government has, however, proposed the following:
Standards for nutrition and health claims on food labels such
as 'low fat', 'high in fibre' be improved to ensure
that labels reflect public health goals and provide meaningful
information to consumers;
Improvements to back-of-pack labelling to provide consumers
with better information about added sugars, fats and vegetable
oils, including the disclosure of specific kind of sugars, fats and
oils, instead of just the generic term, e.g. palm oil;
That work begin with the food industry and consumer groups, to
develop a single front-of-pack labelling model that can provide
consumers with better nutritional information;
Mandatory pregnancy warning labels on alcohol to be implemented
within 2 years.
The rejection of the Traffic Light Labelling system for packaged
foods and the possible introduction of these proposals represents a
compromise between the need to ensure appropriate nutritional
information is provided on packaging and the concerns of food
manufacturers that the traffic light system was too simplistic and
likely to scare consumers away from foods that may ordinarily be
high in fat, but are important to a balanced diet, and further add
to food manufacturers' compliance costs.
The Federal Government will take its position to the Legislative
and Governance Forum on Food Regulation for further discussion on 9
December with the states and territories and the New Zealand
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