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NZ: Health Star Rating system for food labels depends on success in Australia

NZ awaits Oz results on food labels

The decision on whether packaged food in New Zealand will have a rating system of ticks, stars or colours will depend on how successful the scheme is in Australia.

“The extent of trans-Tasman trade in food means that it is important that what New Zealand does aligns with Australia,” said Jenny Reid, manager Food Risk Assessment at the Ministry of Primary Industries.

Read more: New Zealand Herald, 25 June 2013

Communique from ministerial meeting on food regulation

In 2011 New Zealand decided not to join Australia in developing of a front-of-pack nutrition labelling system. This followed ministers from both countries rejecting a traffic light labelling system.

The Australians have now come up with an alternative front-of-pack system, the Health Star Rating system. At the meeting of the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation attended by Australian and New Zealand ministers on 14 June 2013, New Zealand noted the discussion on front-of-pack labelling in Australia and restated the intention to continue to work on a voluntary approach.

Read more: Australian Dept of Health and Ageing website, 14 June 2013

Media release on food labelling from Australian federal ministers

Following the Forum’s meeting, two federal ministers announced that packaged foods will feature a health star rating. This front-of-pack labelling will support consumers to make healthier food choices by giving them at-a-glance information about the food they buy. It will apply to packaged, manufactured or processed foods.

Read more: Joint Media Release, Australian Government, 14 June 2013

Seeing stars: ministers poised to approve new food rating system

Gary Sachs from Deakin University gives an excellent overview of events leading up to the Health Star Rating system being developed and put before ministers for endorsement.

Read more: The Conversation, 14 June 2013

Published on June 30, 2013 in Food labelling,New Zealand news,Star rating labels