Food regulatory updates and media items over July 2019:
1. #FSANZ media release Call for submissions: oligosaccharides in foods for infants and young children. You can also access this information on the website.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has released a second call for submissions on an application to allow two new substances in infant formula products and formulated supplementary foods for young children (FSFYC). The application is seeking to permit the addition of two oligosaccharides (2′-O-fucosyllactose and Lacto-N-neotetraose) that are identical to those naturally present in human milk. FSANZ Chief Executive Officer Mark Booth said the oligosaccharides are produced by microbial fermentation using genetically modified production strains. “FSANZ's safety and technical assessment found no public health and safety concerns associated with the addition of these oligosaccharides at the proposed maximum levels, which are within the range of levels found in human milk. “We have considered comments received on the first call for submissions (November 2018) and after further targeted consultation have prepared a draft variation to permit the voluntary addition of these oligosaccharides to infant formula products and FSFYC.
“Interested parties are invited to have their say on the draft variation by 6pm Canberra Time 2 September 2019.
2. Amendment No. 186 was gazetted on 25 July 2019 in Australia (effect in New Zealand will follow gazettal of a Ministerial Notice). It is available from the FSANZ website at Gazette notices. The Application which the amendments have been made is:
· A1102 - L-carnitine in Food
· A1168 - Glucoamylase from GM Aspergillus niger as a PA (Enzyme)
· M1016 - Maximum Residue Limits (2018)
FSANZ highlighted media issues over July 2019
Concerns about the regulation of caffeine powder received significant media attention this week following the tragic death of a young man in NSW last year from caffeine toxicity.
The Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand (FPSC A-NZ) released an updated version of the Guidelines for Fresh Produce Food Safety.
Australia's peak dairy farmer lobby group has joined calls for the word "milk" to be reserved for dairy products as the government takes a fresh look at labelling.
Concerns have been raised over alleged double standards regarding the regulation of food products promoted as having ‘special medical purposes’ at the food-medicine interface.
The Health Star Rating, now in its fifth year, is under review. There is debate about whether the HSR should be voluntary rather than mandatory or axed altogether. See also: Is the Health Star Rating future ready?
Health experts warn protein supplements can do more harm than good and are calling on tighter regulation.
A Victorian study finds confusion about food's salt labelling is rife among parents.
Australian Dairy Farmers president Terry Richardson has written to Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie asking her to review Australia's Food Standards Code and copy European Union laws because drinks - derived from almonds, soy beans, coconuts, macadamia nuts and rice - are dishonestly using the term milk and financially hurt dairy farmers.
Not sure whether to eat those crackers you bought a year ago? Ever wondered what the difference is between a best before date and a use-by date? Maybe you just want to know why bread is labelled differently… FSANZ’s new product date marking video has all these answers and more.
Scientists from Australia's Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation are using nuclear-based “fingerprinting” technology to determine if seafood is farmed or fresh-caught and identify its origin to make sure it is labelled correctly.
According to comment from Niki Bezzant in the NZ Herald - NZ is a long way from getting detailed information on what has gone into food and where it has come from. Bezzant notes the Trace MY Egg programme is one good initiative that is a step in the right direction.
Other food news sources
Nestlé seeks to lower minimum protein content in Australia and New Zealand follow-on formula: Nestlé has applied to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to reduce the minimum protein requirement for milk-based follow-on formula in the Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code… Read (Marion Nestle)
A full list of food recalls is available here: