Australian regulators seek comments on food industry proposals

By Joe Lederman, John Thisgaard and Jenny Awad (FoodLegal Co-Principals)

© Lawmedia Pty Ltd, August 2023

Throughout July 2023, Australian regulators released several proposals which could have significant impacts for the Australian and New Zealand food industry with respect to product marketing, labelling and formulation. Businesses looking to make a comment can contact FoodLegal for assistance.

ACCC seeks comments on environmental claims policy

On 14 July 2023 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) published draft guidance to assist businesses in substantiating their environmental claims and avoiding the practice of ‘greenwashing’.

Greenwashing is an ACCC enforcement priority for 2023-24. The guidance was released following an internet sweep conducted by the ACCC in the first half of 2023 to identify potentially ‘concerning’ claims being made by businesses.

The ACCC is seeking comments by 15 September 2023

FSANZ seeks comments on sports food marketing

On 24 July 2023 FSANZ released its second consultation as part of its Proposal P1010 into the review of formulated supplementary sports foods (sports foods). The second consultation paper relates to sports food marketing, specifically the making of health claims and nutrition content claims.

Sports foods are currently not permitted to make claims about physiological benefits or enhanced athletic performance. FSANZ is seeking comments on questions including whether this prohibition should be removed, and whether sports foods should be expressly permitted to make health claims.

FSANZ is seeking comments by 4 September 2023.

FSANZ seeks comments on alcohol labelling

On 24 July 2023 FSANZ called for submissions on its Proposal P1049 to consider carbohydrate and sugar labelling for alcoholic beverages.

Alcoholic beverages are limited in their ability to make nutrition content claims, but may make claims about sugar and carbohydrate content. FSANZ proposes to insert provisions into the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (Food Standards Code) to clarify that alcoholic beverages cannot make claims about specific sugars, and may only make claims about overall carbohydrate or sugar content.

FSANZ is seeking comments by 4 September 2023.

This is general information rather than legal advice and is current as of 8 Aug 2023. We therefore recommend you seek legal advice for your particular circumstances if you want to rely on advice or information to be a basis for any commercial decision-making by you or your business.