FSANZ proposes changes to health and nutrition claims
Proposal P1037 (Amendments associated with Nutrition Content and Health Claims) seeks to create an exemption for meeting claim requirements for products bearing trademarked elements of the Health Star Rating system.
FSANZ Chief Executive Officer Steve McCutcheon stated that the trademarked energy and nutrient icons in the Health Star Rating (HSR) system “essentially duplicate what is required in a nutrition information panel”.
The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation launched the HSR system in June 2014, allowing certain food products to display a star rating with or without nutrient icons on a food product label.
Currently, in order to display the star rating and nutrient icons, a product must meet mandatory requirements of the Food Standards Code such as information labelling for nutrients highlighted. Proposal P1037 seeks to remove this requirement and exempt certain elements of the HSR system from requirements under Standards 1.2.7 and 1.2.8.
The Proposal also seeks to address inconsistencies in Standard 1.2.7 –Nutrition, Health and Related Claims. FSANZ states this is in order to enable Standard 1.2.7 to “more accurately reflect the intent of Proposal P293 – Nutrition, Health and Related Claims”, from which Standard 1.2.7 was created.
As well as the changes to HSR icons, other issues raised by FSANZ to be considered by the Proposal include:
- “Lack of consistency and detail about how to declare some nutrients in the nutrition information panel (NIP) when certain claims are made,
- Clarification that the nutrients used in the nutrient profiling scoring method should be consistent with the amount declared in the NIP, to enable the nutrient profiling score (NPS) to be determined from the label,
- Clarification that the percentage Daily Intake (%DI) for energy does not have to be presented together with the %DI for other nutrients when presented on a label outside the NIP,
- Clarification that the %DI for dietary fibre is permitted to be declared outside the NIP if it is also declared in the NIP, together with the %DI for the prescribed nutrients,
- Inconsistency of requirements for declaring nutrition information on small packages when certain claims are made, with applicable requirements for NIPs,
- Inadvertent application of clauses about food in small packages to food for infants, and
- Minor formatting and editorial issues in Standards 1.2.7 and 1.2.8.”
Submissions are due by 6 July 2015.