Business Consultation Notification

A new public consultation was recently submitted to the business consultation website that matched a topic selection in your registration.

You can access the details of the consultation by clicking the link below:

http://apvma.gov.au/node/26456

You are invited to comment on the proposed variations to Schedule 20 Maximum Residue Limits of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

Imported Food section update

December failing food report 16 February 2017

The failing food report for DECEMBER 2016 is now available to view on the website and can be accessed via the following link:

http://www.agriculture.gov.au/import/goods/food/inspection-compliance/failing-food-reports

The latest Notification Circular (05-17) was published on 10 February 2017.

The Circular summarises work currently being undertaken or finalised by FSANZ including:

  • A1117 – Extension of Use of L-cysteine as a Food Additive
  • A1119 – Addition of Water to facilitate Wine Fermentation
  • A1128 – Food derived from reduced Acrylamide Potential & Browning Potato Line E12

Here are FSANZ’s media issues for the week 16/02/2017:

General

Have you ever noticed white stripes in raw chicken breast? This article suggests they are strips of fat which indicate a condition caused by factory farming, which negatively impacts the quality of the meat.

According to a NZ politician, the latest threat to the country’s economy is ethical food—with fake meat products such as tofu steak and sausages accused of ripping off names traditionally associated with the real thing. Read the story.

Labelling

The new country of origin labelling measures have just hit supermarket shelves, following last week’s federal Senate passed legislation to improve the accuracy of claims about where products are ‘made in’ and ‘packed in’. Read more.

Have you ever wondered what’s in your favourite beer or wine? This article explores why alcohol is exempt from having to provide ingredients lists or nutritional information on its labelling.

Food safety

With the mercury rising this summer, it’s easy to opt for spending the weekend at the beach with fish and chips for lunch… but what about the levels of mercury in your meal? This story looks at which species of fish contain the highest levels, and how much of them you can safely eat.

A consultancy company is suggesting that allergen related food recalls are on the rise, with cross contamination, labelling errors and fraud the key causes. Read more.

A popular Canberra eatery which was shut down by ACT Health this week with a notice on the door citing “serious food safety breaches” and “risk to public health” has been linked to a salmonella outbreak. Read more.

Diet and nutrition

This article suggests that taxing junk food and subsidising healthier options could save Australia billions of dollars by preventing people from getting sick. Read more.

GMO

A five-year trial of GM bananas will begin in Darwin in a few months with the hope of developing a variety resistant to a common destructive fungal disease. Read more.

The first commercial shipment of (virtually) gluten-free barley, bred by the CSIRO, has just left Australia on its journey to a German brewery. Read more.

Quirky

In case you didn’t get enough love on Valentine’s Day this week, here’s an article all about ideas for love-themed food—ranging from banana skins engraved with emotional messaging, to chocolate dipped bacon roses. Mmm, romantic.

NSW GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES DELAYED START TO CONTAINER DEPOSIT SCHEME

Following a joint approach by the AFGC and environment groups, the NSW Government has announced that the start date of the NSW Container Deposit Scheme will be delayed from 1 July to 1 December 2017.

Bids for the roles of Scheme Coordinator and Network Operators closed recently with the NSW Government expected to make appointments in April.

The new start date allows more time for the Scheme Coordinator to enter into contracts with beverage suppliers; for suppliers to negotiate price changes with retailers; and for collection systems to be put in place.

The Regulation, which contains many of the scheme’s details such as the on-pack refund mark, has yet to be finalised though it is expected soon.

The new start date also brings the NSW scheme in closer alignment with Queensland and Western Australia, which are expected to commence their schemes in early to mid 2018. The Queensland and Western Australian Governments are expected to release separate consultation papers on the design of their respective schemes in coming months.

Imported food section update

Imported Food Notice 02/17 – ‘Trial of the electronic Imported Food Inspection Report’ published 15 February 2017

Imported Food Notice 02-17 – Trial of the electronic Imported Food Inspection Report has been published to advise that the department will be commencing a trial of the electronic Imported Food Inspection Report (eIFIR) for activities under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme.

The notice can be accessed via the following link: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/import/goods/food/notices

Getting the terms of the trade right: Lessons for traders

Regulatory Update #246  17 February 2017

New proposed MRLs for inadvertent residues

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and the APVMA have developed an approach to assess maximum residue limits (MRLs) for agvet chemicals applied to food commodities listed in Schedule 20 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code where no existing MRLs are established.

The proposal put forward by the APVMA and FSANZ provides a mechanism to establish low-level maximum residue limits in the Food Standards Code (FSC) that will allow the sale of foods containing inadvertent residues that may occur at low levels, even when good agricultural practice is followed.

In cooperation with FSANZ, the APVMA will establish MRLs in the FSC as and when changes are made to MRLs for the active constituent more broadly. The first proposal to vary the FSC includes MRLs for flonicamid, imazamox, pirimicarb, propiconazole, puriproxifen and spirotetramat and is available for consultation now.

40 tonnes of unregistered chemical product detained

Two 20,000 kilogram containers of glyphosate and trifluralin were detected and detained in Melbourne late last year for being unregistered under Agvet law.

The products were detained as their particulars did not comply with the APVMA’s Register for Chemical Products. Extensive discussions with the importer and overseas manufacturing companies confirmed the APVMA’s concerns. The chemical products were returned to the source country in mid-December 2016 at the Australian importer’s expense.

Label monitoring of household insecticide products

As part of regular monitoring of marketed product labels, we will shortly commence a label audit of household insecticide products that have been granted registration in the last two years.

Companies marketing these products will be contacted for copies of current labels. Anyone holding these products should also check that the labels comply with current APVMA requirements.

Fast-track registration

Fast-track registration is now available for a number of repack applications that will be processed within 21 days thanks to a streamlining of application requirements and internal processes. The reduced application timeframes are a result of the successful pilot of Fast-track registration which ran from 29 July to 31 December 2016.

The APVMA is now working to identify additional applications that could be included in the fast-track registration process, including system and process changes required to support this.

More information on the new process is available.

Minor updates to text

Minor updates to text within our online services were recently made around item 13 applications. Edits were also made to the manage account access and pre-application assistance pages. These simple text changes will have no impact on functionality and were made to improve readability.

Update to the ethephon standard

The APVMA has updated the active constituent standard for ethephon to clarify the requirements for active content and water content.

Biosecurity Matters: Issue 1 – February 2017 

Throw your prawns on the BBQ, not in our waters

Us Aussies love throwing some prawns on the BBQ. But there is one place we definitely can’t throw our prawns – and that is into our rivers, lakes and oceans.

This is the latest biosecurity message aimed at recreational fishers and crabbers to help keep our waterways free from unwanted disease. Read more…

Cluster fences keeping sheep safe from wild dogs

Sheep farming communities in western Queensland are dealing with the threat of increasingly aggressive wild dog attacks through an innovative approach known as “cluster fencing”.

The clusters, which involve erecting wild dog-proof fences around several neighbouring farms, have recently been installed in areas such as Cunnamulla, Goondiwindi, Quilpie, Longreach, Barcaldine and Winton. Read more…

Borers hitch a ride to Australia inside lychee plants

A dangerous borer that devastates food crops nearly made it to Australia in the New Year inside lychee plants, but was thwarted by our vigilant team at the Mickleham Post Entry Quarantine (PEQ) centre near Melbourne airport.

The red coffee borer, a pest found across Asia, was discovered inside a batch of 300 lychee plants from Taiwan. Read more…

Indigenous rangers dedicated to stopping exotic pests

Indigenous rangers in Far North Queensland recently received a Biosecurity Commendation award from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for their valuable work in keeping a Top Watch for pests and diseases entering through our northern gateway.

The Mapoon Land and Sea Rangers, based in western Cape York Peninsula, play a vital role in biosecurity work including vector monitoring, marine debris surveillance and assisting departmental scientists and officers gain access to traditional lands. Read more…

A red hot idea to save Christmas Island’s famous red crabs

Every year tourists travel to Christmas Island to see the red crabs’ annual migration, where up to 40 million crabs make the journey from the forest to the sea to mate.

In recent years though, super colonies of yellow crazy ants have threatened the crabs. Read more…

Border Finds – Thinking of buying terrariums online?

When gift shopping online, make sure your purchase doesn’t provide an unwelcome surprise on arrival in Australia.

One popular gift idea over the recent holiday season has been self-sustaining terrariums. Read more…

 

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