Australian Food Standard baulks on raw milk products

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 19th August 2011

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is consulting the general public on whether permission should be given for raw milk (non-pasteurised) products to be sold in Australia.

FSANZ is calling for public comment on its Proposal P1007, looking at permissions for raw milk products to be sold in Australia.

However, FSANZ has recommended permission apply only for the non-pasteurised hard to very hard cooked curd cheeses. This will involve changes to the Food Standards Code relating to storage time and moisture content requirements. However, FSANZ will not currently be recommending permission for other raw milk cheeses.

Chief Executive Officer of FSANZ, Steve McCutcheon said FSANZ would not consider other raw milk cheeses except through a new separate proposal that will use the technical work already completed. FSANZ emphasized its concerns about the high safety risk of raw milk.

Mr McCutcheon said, “The assessment of these products looked at what production and processing measures and product characteristics are needed to provide a high level of safety for consumers.”

“Other raw milk cheeses are being considered separately because a wider range of processing measures and product characteristics need to be considered.

In the relation to raw milk itself, Mr McCutcheon said, “The assessment work for this proposal concluded that drinking raw milk presents too high a risk to consider any permission in the Code. In the new proposal, FSANZ will also be reviewing the current exemption that allows raw goat milk.”

Meanwhile, FSANZ is also calling for comment on Application A1051, which is seeking permission for food derived from a genetically modified soybean with a tolerance to the herbicides glyphosate and isoxaflutole, to provide a broader weed management strategy.

Generally, any approvals by FSANZ of proposals or applications to amend the Food Standards Code are notified to the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council. After notification, the Ministerial Council then has 60 days to either ask FSANZ to review the application or inform FSANZ that it does not intend to request a review.