FSANZ proposes changes to the Food Standards Code

Posted by Josette Dunn on 17th December 2010

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) this week released details of proposed changes to the Food Standards Code and invited comment from interested organisations and individuals.

Among the changes under consideration are the approval of a GM corn, steviol as a high intensity sweetener, and food for special medical purposes.

Anyone can apply to amend the Food Standards Code. FSANZ assesses the safety of any new food, substance or food production technology and conducts a regulatory impact analysis to ensure that the change results in net benefits to the community.

Submissions should reach FSANZ by 9 February 2011.

Food for Special Medical Purposes Proposal P242 – Preliminary Final Assessment

Food for Special Medical Purposes (FSMP) are food products used under the supervision of medical or other health professionals (e.g. dietitians, nurses) for the management of people with chronic medical or disability conditions or acute stages of illness or injury. Currently, there is no explicit standard for FSMPs in the Food Standards Code. FSANZ proposes to develop a standard for FSMPs and welcomes public comment.

Food derived from herbicide-tolerant corn line DAS-40278-9 Application A1042 – 1st Assessment

Dow AgroSciences Australia Limited is seeking approval for food derived from corn line DAS-40278-9. This corn line has been genetically modified to be tolerant to the herbicides 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and quizalofop-P-ethyl, thereby providing corn growers with a broader weed management option. FSANZ has conducted a full scientific evaluation of this GM corn to assess its safety for human consumption. The views of interested parties are now being sought.

Permitted levels of steviol glycosidesApplication 1037 – Assessment

Cargill Incorporated is seeking approval to increase the allowed maximum permitted level of steviol glycosides in ice cream, water based beverages, brewed soft drinks, formulated beverages and flavoured soy beverages. Steviol glycosides are high intensity sweeteners used as sugar substitutes by the food industry. Cargill claims that the increased levels are required to provide a more acceptable taste profile for consumers. We invite comment on this application.

Calcium lignosulphonate (40-65) as a food additive Application A1030 – Assessment

DSM Nutritional Products Australia Pty Ltd has requested permission for the use of calcium lignosulphonate (40-65) as a carrier for fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) and carotenoids in preparations of food additives and nutrients to facilitate their introduction into water-based foods. Calcium lignosulphonate (40-65) assists in ensuring uniform dispersal and distribution of water insoluble vitamins and carotenoids into water based foods and beverages. We are seeking comment, especially from the food industry.

Code maintenance Proposal P1013 – Assessment

FSANZ regularly seeks to amend the Code to maintain its currency and clarity. The purpose of this proposal is to assess a range of proposed amendments to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. The proposed amendments are intended to address inconsistencies, misspellings, grammatical and typographical errors, omissions and items requiring updating or clarification.

Submissions: FSANZ welcomes public comment from industry, public health professionals, government agencies and consumers. Details of the assessment reports can be found at www.foodstandards.gov.au.