ASEAN Working Group
Adam Keats of USA based Fintrac spoke with Neil Brand President of the FBIA on the development of an ASEAN working group to improve trade with various ASEAN countries.
The project was initiated by DFAT.
Countries included are: Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam (SE Asia).
The project is concentrating on trade in FRESH and semi processed (washed) produce (fruit and veg) with a second working group starting on processed foods
The aim of the project is to create:
- Mutual recognition to improve Food Safety Standards of these countries and generate a trusted trader position
- Improved Cross Border processes for Export and Import purposes (Import/export issues and legislations)
- Improved logistics to and across borders
- Improved quality and food safety standards at source
- An ASEAN branding logo
Question for FBIA Members:
Is there interest from any FBIA member to get involved with this?
If members do or intend to import from any of these countries, will this assist in any way?
If you are interested the FBIA can put you in direct contact with Fintrac.
Fintrac contact: email@example.com
Andrew Hudson will represent this working group.
AFGC November Scitech Regulatory Brief
Along with the latest edition of SciTech news below, please see the attached media release (chair-of-fsanz-board-nov-2016) announcing that Ms Robyn Kruk AO has been appointed to Chair the FSANZ Board.
Ms Kruk has extensive experience in public administration, running the NSW Department of Health and Department of Premier and Cabinet, as well as the Commonwealth Department of the Environment. She also chaired the eHealth Implementation Taskforce Steering Committee and was CEO of the National mental health Commission.
|APVMA||Proposal to amend Schedule 20 of the revised Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code||29/11/2016|
|ACMA||Proposed determination to specify JAS-ANZ as an approving body||02/12/2016|
|FSANZ||A1133||Maximum Residue Limits for Avilamycin in specific Pig Commodities||05/12.2016
|Consumer Affairs ANZ||Australian Consumer Law Review Interim Paper||09/12/2016|
|TGA||Criteria for comparable overseas regulators||12/12/2016|
|FSANZ||A1124||Alternatives DHA-rich Algal Oil for Infant Formula Products||13/12/2016|
|FSANZ||P1043||Code Revision (2016)||16/12/2016|
|TGA||Consultation on adoption of a European Union guideline in Australia||16/12/2016|
|FSANZ||A1132||Broaden Definition of Steviol Glycosides (Intense Sweeteners)||19/12/2016|
|TGA||The regulatory framework for advertising therapeutic goods – November 2016||21/12/2016|
|Dept. of Health||NICNAS Reforms – Consultation #4||04/11/2016|
Copies of any AFGC submissions are available from the AFGC website member’s only section or by contacting Fiona Fleming (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Consumer Label Survey (2015)
In October 2016, FSANZ updated their website with a report on the Consumer Label Survey that was conducted in 2015.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) commissioned an online study of 1,396 Australians and 1,015 New Zealanders aged 15 years and over. The purpose of the study was to collect information on consumer use, understanding, and confidence in, certain food labelling elements.
The findings add to FSANZ’s evidence base on consumers and food labelling.
Following are some of the findings:
- Australians and New Zealanders are generally trusting of the information in food labels, with approximately 67% and 77% of Australians and New Zealanders respectively somewhat or strongly agreeing with the statement: Generally speaking I trust the information on food labels.
- Both Australians and New Zealanders were equally interested in standardised nutrition information on food labels, with three-quarters of consumers in both countries expressing at least moderate interest.
- The study found that use of the Nutrition Information Panel (NIP) and the statement of ingredients were commonly used when making a food purchase for the first time.
- Most Australian and New Zealand consumers found both the NIP and the statement of ingredient list to be moderately understandable, believable, relevant and trustworthy.
- Among NIP elements, the amounts of sugar, fat, saturated fats and sodium were the most commonly cited nutrients used in a purchase of a food for the first time.
- In terms of food safety related information, the use-by date and the best-before date were the most commonly looked for information, with over 60% of consumers checking these label elements.
- Over 80% of Australians and 70% of New Zealanders reported checking country of origin information when purchasing a product for the first time.
The full report can be found on the FSANZ website:
FSANZ Work Plan
FSANZ published an update to their Work Plan on November 7. The Work Plan sets out timetables for applications and proposals to change the Food Standards Code.
The Work Plan can be accessed on the FSANZ website:
Country of Origin Labelling – Update
The Government’s origin labelling package included amendments to the Competition and Consumer Act to provide a ‘safe harbour’ for origin marks that comply with the Government’s Information Standard, and to remove the 50% costs rule for “Made in” claims. The proposed legislation further amends the definition of ‘substantial transformation’, which in effect determines whether or not something is ‘made’ in a particular country.
With the confusion and possible legal challenge as to the eligibility of two Senators to stand for election, there is something of a legislative log jam developing as voting in the Senate becomes subject to doubt. The Government’s promise to have the legislation passed by the end of this year has been thrown into disarray, and there is a significant likelihood that the legislation will now not be passed until the Senate’s composition is resolved by the High Court.
The implications of this for those looking to implement the new labelling regime are twofold: first, there is no legislative protection against claims that a marking is false or misleading even though it complies with the Information Standard – this is a particular issue for averaging claims – and secondly, all “Made in” claims are subject to the 50% costs rule if they are to avoid allegations of being false or misleading. As many more products will be required to make ‘Made in’ claims under the Information Standard, this latter issue is a significant new burden for industry.
As noted under consultations above, the Australian Consumer Law Review is progressing with the release of an Interim Consultation Paper. This follows consultations on an Issues Paper earlier this year.
The AFGC will continue to advocate for reform of the ACL Mandatory Reporting obligations as well as a range of other consumer-law related matters. However, it is worth reminding readers that the Government’s 2015 proposal to exempt food products from the ACL’s mandatory reporting requirements was rejected by the Senate and never become law.
This means that food products remain subject to the ACL reporting requirements.
Dimethoate proposed regulatory decisions report published.
Consultation period: 26 October 2016 to 27 January 2017
The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is reconsidering the approvals, registrations and product labels associated with the insecticide and miticide, Dimethoate. The scope of this review was to assess the toxicological, occupational health and safety, residues and dietary exposure and trade risks associated with the approvals and registrations for Dimethoate.
The APVMA has assessed the available information and concluded that the use of Dimethoate according to its current instructions for use does not meet the safety criteria listed in sections 5A of the Agvet Codes for continued registration and approval.
The APVMA is proposing to:
- maintain the approvals of dimethoate active constituents
- vary the label approvals of the most recent label approval for 400 g/L dimethoate products
- maintain the registrations of those products and the varied labels
- limit pack sizes of the agricultural 400 g/L dimethoate products to volumes of greater than 1 litre.
As a separate process the APVMA is also proposing to amend the Standard for dimethoate active constituent to include maximum impurity levels for omethoate and isodimethoate. The consultation period for this ends 27 January 2017.
As a result of information received from registrants and farmer representatives a number of uses on crops that were proposed for deletion in the 2011 residues report are now supported and can be maintained on labels. This additional information received:
- supports the use of Dimethoate on avocadoes, beans, beetroot, black berries, blueberries, cereals, cotton, melons, peanuts, peas (not sugar or snap peas), pulses (grain legumes) and raspberries with minimal changes to use instructions and withholding periods
- supports the use of Dimethoate on strawberries for runner production only, tomatoes for processing with a 21 day withholding period and large field grown tomatoes prior to commencement of flowering only.
The label variations that were proposed in the 2011 residues report and confirmed in this latest report include:
- deletion of pre-harvest use on:
- abius, bananas, casimiroas, custard apples grapes, passionfruit, paw paw, santols, sapodillas, stonefruit (all remaining uses prior to petal fall), wax jambus, artichoke (globe), broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chilli, parsnips, radish, sweetcorn, and leucaena,
- deletion of post-harvest use on chilli and eggplants
- deletion of seed dressing uses
- restriction of pastures, fodder and oilseed uses to early crop emergence stages only.
Further label variations arising from the 2013 OHS report include:
- amendments to safety directions
- addition of re-entry intervals.
Invitation for submissions
The APVMA invites persons and organisations to submit their comments and suggestions on these proposed decisions. See the consultation page for further details on how to make a submission.
Department of agriculture and water resources
The Failing Food Reports for July & August 2016 are available to view and can be accessed by clicking here
Department of Health
National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS)
NICNAS is improving the content, design, accessibility, and usability of the NICNAS website, which was relaunched recently. NICNAS expect the new website will:
- make searching easier
- make navigating the website easier
- enhance accessibility for people with disabilities
- be easier to use on mobile devices
- make sharing content easier
- introduce more online processes (e.g. web forms)
- align with the Australian Government Digital Service Standard.
Please note the NICNAS Handbook for Notifiers will not be published on the new website, but the information from the handbook will be available across the website in relevant, easy to understand sections. Handbook links will be redirected to the correct pages on the new website, so any bookmarks/favourites in your browser will continue to work.
The website address has not changed: https://www.nicnas.gov.au/
NICNAS welcome your feedback. Please click here to access the online form to share your thoughts:
Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL)
Food Innovation Book
What is it?
‘Celebrating Australian Food and Agribusiness Innovations’ is the first Australian book to celebrate innovation in the food and agribusiness industry. The first edition was launched at the Australian Institute of Food Science & Technology conference in June 2016. The book showcased 50 of the country’s leading innovations in agribusiness, food, drink, packaging and more. Due to the resounding praise and recognition the book received, FIAL is publishing a second edition.
FIAL is calling for all businesses to share their innovation challenge and solution by submitting an expression of interest. Inclusion in the second edition, can give businesses the real edge to market themselves and share their innovation journey with the rest of Australia.
How to apply?
You can submit and expression through the FIAL website – here where you can also access additional information about the book. An expert panel of judges from industry, academia and research will assess the applications.
Please note that applications close on 30 November 2016.
Upcoming AFGC Forums and Committee Meetings
The AFGC hosts several forums and committees which meet during the year. The following table summarises meetings which are coming up for the remainder of 2016. If you are interested in any of the committees listed, please get in touch with the AFGC contact for the respective committee.
|COMMITTEE/FORUM||AFGC CONTACT||MEETING DATE/TIME||MEETING LOCATION|
|Non-Food Forum||Fiona Fleming||Wednesday Nov 16
1.00 – 2.30pm
|National Approach to Food Safety Certification – Baked Goods Reference Group||Fiona Fleming||Thursday Nov 18
10.00 – 11.00
|Allergen Forum||Fiona Fleming||Wednesday Nov 23
10.00 – 11.30
|Edition No. 23 15 November 2016 is now available on the APVMA website.
Agricultural Chemical Products and Approved Labels – page 4
You can also access back issues of the Gazette from August 1999.
Searching previous editions
If you would like to search previous editions of the Gazette, you can use the search function on the APVMA website by selecting ‘Gazette’ from the dropdown list in the top right-hand corner of the website and typing your keywords into the search box.
To create a new subscription to the gazette, please complete the subscription form.
Import Industry Advice Notice – 107/2016
Inclusion of Automatic Entry Processing for Commodity (AEPCOMM) codes into BICON and updating of the Approved Arrangement (AA) Class 19.2 Requirements document to reflect changes
16 November 2016
Inclusion of Automatic Entry Processing for Commodity (AEPCOMM) codes into BICON and updating of the Approved Arrangement (AA) Class 19.2 Requirements document to reflect changes has been published on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website and can be accessed via the following link:
Import Industry Advice Notices are available from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website at: www.agriculture.gov.au/iian.
Food safety hub on FSANZ website
Some exciting news – the upcoming launch of the Food Safety Hub on the FSANZ website on Monday 21 November 2016. The issue of no central location for food safety related information on the FSANZ website was identified. Currently information can be accessed in several areas including the home page, Food Standards Code, Industry, Consumers and Publications. More information below:
FSANZ has consolidated existing FSANZ web pages on food safety into a ‘Food Safety Hub’. The hub is now live and accessible from FSANZ’s front web page.
The hub is designed to be a one-stop shop for easy access to information divided into the following four areas:
- Standards, guides and other information — outlining the regulatory requirements related to food safety and links to useful guides and fact sheets.
- Food recalls, incidents and consumer advice — explaining what’s involved in recalling food as well as information for the public on past food incidents and specific food safety topics.
- Food safety culture — explaining what food safety culture is, why it’s important and how food businesses and regulators can work together to improve it.
- Featured content — highlighting publications (e.g. the new revised Safe Food Australia guide), videos, key messages and the latest food safety information.
The content will be further improved and added to over the coming months, particularly in the area of food safety culture.
Safe Food Australia guide
The new 3rd edition of Safe Food Australia, the comprehensive guide to the food safety standards, is also now available. This revised edition includes updated evidence and information to address current food safety issues and trends. It also provides new guidance for mobile, temporary and home-based vendors. The guide is provided as a searchable pdf (accessible from the Food Safety Hub and www.foodstandards.gov.au/safefoodaustralia) and hard copies will be available to purchase.
Regulatory Update #243
17 November 2016
Annual return of actives 2015–16 update
Following requests from industry for more time we will accept annual returns of actives data up to 30 November 2016. Annual returns for the 2015–16 year cannot be accepted after this date.
If you have any enquiries please email the APVMA Chemical Review team at email@example.com.
Label monitoring of fenamiphos products
Recent examination of labels for sheep ectoparasiticide products have resulted in corrective action being taken on some labels.
The APVMA will shortly commence a label audit of fenamiphos products that were the subject of a recent APVMA review. Companies marketing these products will be contacted for copies of current labels. Holders of these products should check that the labels comply with current APVMA requirements.
Help and assistance
Reminder – open for public consultation
• Proposed approval of sometribove zinc and registration of the product Elanco Posilac – until 29 November 2016
• Proposal to amend Schedule 20 of the revised Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code – until 29 November 2016
• Proposed approval of the active constituent fluopicolide and registration of the product Infinito SC Fungicide – until 13 December 2016
• New active Novaluron in the product Cormoran Insecticide – until 13 December 2016
• Proposal to amend Schedule 20 of the revised Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code – until 13 December 2016
• Flonicamid in the product Mainman 500 WG Insecticide – until 14 December 2016
• Proposal not to place glyphosate under formal reconsideration – until 30 December 2016
• Dimethoate proposed regulatory decisions report – until 27 January 2017
• Revision to the standard for the active constituent dimethoate – until 27 January 2017
FSANZ’S Media Issues
As 2016 comes to an end, a market insights company has taken a look at what trends will influence food labelling and the food industry in 2017. A growing health and environmental focus is driving demand for ‘more holistic’ labelling. Read more about these trends here.
Canadian organic farmers are calling on the government to “close a loophole” that is allowing widespread misuse of the term ‘organic’. See what the loophole is here.
Two food waste campaigners have fronted the Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs Committee in the UK as part of a hearing into the rising rates of food waste in the UK. One measure championed by the pair is the removal of ‘best before’ labelling on a range of foods – a measure they claim would save millions in wasted food. Get the full story here.
US led research is aiming to determine the impacts of mislabelled fish – of which almost a third of seafood products sold in the US are – on both the planet and consumers’ pockets. Read more about the research here.
Don’t want to give the gift of gastro’ for Christmas? This article looks at some festive food safety tips to keep you and your family safe. Check them out here.
A Tasmanian hotelier is being investigated for supplying raw milk to guests as part of a milking demonstration on the Huon Valley farm stay. Get the full story here.
FSANZ’s CEO spoke to ‘Tasmania Talks’ about the issue of raw milk and the dangers behind consuming it. Listen to the interview here.
What’s behind the spike of food poisoning cases in Mackay? This article takes a look. (Hint: it starts with ‘e’ and ends in ‘g’).
The dispute between Australian honey producer Capilano and apiarist Simon Mulvany has taken a turn, with both parties suing each other over claims the producer was telling ‘toxic’ honey. Get the full story here.
Hong Kong’s Centre for Food Safety recently released two statements regarding a ready-to-eat salmon salad found to have Listeria monocytogens and a canned fish product that may have contained foreign matter.
A UK poultry producer has been hit with over £20,000 of fines under new sentencing guidelines for food safety violations. Read about them here.
The FDA has halted glyphosate residue testing by its laboratories across the country. The lack of sensitive lab’ equipment and internal confusion and disagreement as to the best method have been blamed for the decision. Get the full story here.
Our recent call for submissions regarding a proposal to make minor editing and formatting changes to the Food Standards Code is covered in this article, which also cast doubts as to whether it would take a back seat due to New Zealand’s tragic earthquake.
The Australian Healthy Food Partnership met recently, agreeing on a number of principles that would guide working groups comprising of stakeholders from government and the food industry. Check out the communique here.
The National Health Summit on Obesity has called for a ‘National Obesity Plan’ which would work as part of six steps aimed to tackle the rising rates of obesity in Australia. Read about the other five steps here.
Experts are expecting president elect Donald Trump to shake-up the FDA, after he openly criticised the agency during his campaign, saying much of what they did was ‘overkill’. Get the full story here.
Consumer groups in the UK have warned that it is ‘absolutely crucial’ that the UK continues its precautionary approach to food safety post-Brexit. More info’ here.
Diet and nutrition
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency has banned a Tasmanian surgeon from giving nutritional advice to patients, saying “there is nothing associated with your medical training or education that makes you an expert or authority in the field of nutrition…” See the full story here.
Australian sugar sales took a three point five per cent dive last year, with experts attributing the decline to consumers becoming more health-conscious. More info’ here.
The science behind the diets. This video gives an explanation of the facts behind some of the most common diets including the ‘master cleanse’ diet’s tendency to do far more harm than good.
To eat cheese or not to eat cheese? Despite confusion as to whether cheese is good for you or not, Australians are eating over 13kg of the stuff a year! This article looks at whether we should cut back.
Agave syrup, granola bars and low-fat yogurt. Sounds like a health food bloggers delight, right? Well London based nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert wouldn’t touch any of them! Find out why here.
According to a recent survey carried out by research company Populus in the UK, consumers’ opinion of GM food is beginning to sway for the first time in decades. More info on the survey here.
Two anti-GM groups have released findings from a self-commissioned survey, claiming to have found traces of the pesticide glyphosate in a number of breakfast cereals and chips. They are claiming that the products may contain GM ingredients, despite being made from ingredients sourced from areas where GM crops are banned. Read the full story here.
Got a case of Thursday-itis? Here are some puppies drinking coffee to get you through.
Are you a food snob? Take this test to see.