Be a star!

Support front-of-pack nutrition star labelling on food - sign our petition
 
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01 .Sign our petition

P0062 Front of pack labelling petition blue

Some of the world's biggest food companies are trying to stop you having better nutrition information. They're trying to scuttle Health Star Rating - a new front-of-pack labelling system that makes it easier to choose healthy foods. 

Health and food ministers agreed to the new system earlier this year, after working closely with the food industry and groups such as CHOICE and the Cancer Council – but some in the food industry are now refusing to support the system they themselves helped develop.

Not only do they want to retain confusing serving sizes - they also want to stick with their dodgy daily intake percentages, which are difficult to understand.

This petition is now closed. Over 6000 Australian consumers stood with CHOICE and the Cancer Council in support of the Health Star Rating system. We will continue to fight for front-of-pack nutrition labelling to help consumers make informed decisions about the food they eat. You can still help the campaign by signing up as a campaign supporter today.  

 
 

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What's in your food?

Health and food ministers will meet in early December to discuss Health Star Rating - a front-of-pack nutrition labelling system that will help you make healthier food choices. They've already agreed to the system, but some powerful food companies are trying to backtrack and stick with their confusing 'percentage daily intake' (%DI) guides.

We need to let the ministers know you support the star system – as agreed, with no changes.

CHOICE and the Cancer Council have long campaigned for effective front-of-pack labelling, so that when you’re in a rush, you can make healthy food choices quickly and easily.

For many years, we supported the traffic light labelling  system, because consumers told us they couldn’t understand the food industry’s confusing percentage daily intake scheme and differing serving sizes.

So when health and food ministers asked us last year to work with government and industry to develop an alternative system, we jumped at the chance.

The resulting Health Star Rating proposal is great. Based on plenty of consumer research and sound science, it tells you, at a glance, how healthy the product is. The more stars, the healthier the food.

The amount of energy, saturated fat, sugar, and sodium (salt) is published on the front label, for those of us who need a bit more detail. Instead of using inconsistent and unrealistic ‘serving sizes’ and %DI, these nutrients are declared per 100g/mL, or for the whole package if it’s meant to be eaten in one go. There's no recommended daily intake for saturated fat, sugar or sodium (salt) that applies to everyone, so chances are the %DI on the pack won’t apply to you.

Health authorities have set nutritional upper limits that are unsafe to approach or exceed regularly. The new system includes daily intake for kilojoules (8700kJ) because many consumers are now familiar with this, having seen it in fast food chains.

But some in the food industry are reluctant to support the system they helped develop. Not only do they want to get serving sizes back in, they want to roll out their dodgy daily intake percentages across all nutrients. 

CHOICE and the Cancer Council have joined forces to let you know what’s going on, and ask for your support to get the unamended Health Star Rating system onto products and into supermarkets so that it can be most beneficial to you and your family.

If you want effective nutrition labelling on food, help CHOICE and the Cancer Council today by signing up as a campaign supporter. We are calling for food and health ministers to be a health star and continue supporting the Health Star Rating system – as agreed, with no changes. 

Why are CHOICE and Cancer Council campaigning together? 

CHOICE and the Cancer Council have campaigned together for better front-of-pack food labelling since 2008, when they led Australia’s first consumer research on traffic light labelling. Both organisations agree consumers should have the information they need to make informed, healthier decisions about what they eat. Both have been involved in consultations with government and industry, which resulted in the creation of the Health Star Rating.

Why do CHOICE and Cancer Council care about nutrition labelling? 

Consumers should be able to make informed decisions easily. If they want to buy healthier products for themselves and their families, they should have the information they need to guide them. We know unhealthy choices can lead to obesity, which increases the risk of bowel, breast (post-menopause), oesophageal, kidney, pancreatic and endometrial cancers. Current food labels are confusing and can take a while to decipher, which is no doubt why better nutrition labelling was a top priority in a recent survey of CHOICE members and supporters. 

Why do CHOICE and Cancer Council support the Health Star Rating? 

The star rating will provide at-a-glance information on how healthy a product is. The amount of fat, sugar and salt will be on the front label because research shows this information is important to shoppers. Instead of using inconsistent and unrealistic ‘serving sizes’ and meaningless daily intake percentages, they will be declared per 100g/mL, or for the whole product if it’s meant to be eaten in one go. This will help consumers make informed decisions about what they eat. 

What about traffic lights? 

While CHOICE and the Cancer Council still believe there is sufficient evidence to support the introduction of a traffic light labelling scheme, state and federal ministers do not. CHOICE and the Cancer Council have played an active role in developing the Health Star Rating scheme in place of traffic lights.

Why did the petition targeting health ministers? 

The star rating has already been agreed to by health and food ministers and industry groups. But some food companies want to back away from this commitment. We asked the nation’s health and food ministers to stand by the Health Star Rating scheme. The petition closed on the 29th of November 2013

Won’t the star rating mean more red tape for business? 

The scheme will be voluntary, so any costs to industry will be a matter of choice for individual companies. Many recognise that consumers want and need more information about fat, salt and sugar by virtue of implementing the daily intake system, but that scheme does not meet consumers’ needs.

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