Federal failure on front of pack food labelling

Time for States and Territories to show leadership for consumers

CHOICE says the Federal Government has failed to put the best interests of Australian consumers first on nutrition labelling, in its position released ahead of the 9 December meeting of food and health ministers.

Almost a year since the report of the independent Food Labelling Review, Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Catherine King, today announced that the Federal Government would not support the expert review’s recommendation for traffic light-style labelling on food products.

“The Federal Government’s response defies the experts’ advice and ignores the public’s appetite for better, more informative food labels,” says CHOICE spokesperson, Ingrid Just.

“However, the States and Territories still have a once in a generation opportunity to put consumers first at the Food Regulation Ministerial Council meeting.”

The People’s Watchdog is calling on State and Territory governments to show leadership and commit to the introduction of mandatory traffic light-style labelling because it helps consumers make healthier choices.

“Disappointingly, the Federal Government’s announcement suggests that well-resourced industry lobbying is more important than the right of Australian consumers to make an informed choice about the food they eat every day,” says Ms Just.

CHOICE says evidence shows that consumers find the voluntary Percentage Daily Intake system favoured by food manufacturers confusing, and in fact today CHOICE released new research showing it’s based on a bewildering, inconsistent array of serving sizes.

“On the other hand, traffic light style labelling has been shown to make healthy choices easier. That’s why the major independent review recommended a traffic light-style system last January.”

Read the fact sheet comparing the %DI and Traffic Light labelling system. You can also read the CHOICE report into %DI guides which was prepared by the George Institute for Global Health.  


Media contact:  

Ingrid Just, CHOICE spokesperson: 0430 172 669

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