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The federal government has released a public consultation paper on sugar labelling of foods and drinks. The consultation paper has been prepared by the Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC) at the request of the Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum of Food Regulation. At their November 2017 meeting, the Forum agreed that information about sugars on food labels did not provide enough contextual information for consumers to make healthier choices.
The consultation will assist the Forum in their consideration of regulatory and non-regulatory options for sugar labelling on packaged foods and drinks (foods and drinks not requiring to be labelled, such as in a café or restaurant, are not included).
The FRDC has identified 6 policy options, as well as the status quo, to achieve the goal of supporting consumers to make healthier choices:
1. Status quo
2. Education on how to read and interpret labelling information about sugars.
3. Changes to the statement of ingredients
4. Added sugars quantified in the nutrition information panel (NIP)
5. Advisory labels for foods high in added sugars (also known as ‘warning labels’)
6. Pictorial approaches to convey the amount or types of sugars in a serving of foods (e.g. teaspoons of added sugar)
7. Digital linking to off-label, web-based information about added sugars content
The closing date for submissions is 19 September 2018.