NEW ZEALAND: ‘Fat-free’ claims under closer scrutiny
New food standards that come into force in New Zealand in eight weeks' time will clamp down on claims such as '92% fat-free'.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has become concerned that such claims mislead consumers into believing they are buying a low-fat product. "We are seeing a number of new food products being actively promoted as 93% fat-free or even 90% fat-free," FSANZ managing director Ian Lindenmayer is quoted by the NZ Press Association as saying. "This in fact means that these products are 7% or 10% fat respectively, which is not a low fat product."
The new code of practice on nutrient claims allows the fat-free claims to be applied only to products that are at least 97% fat-free. The new code comes into force on 20 December.
Manufacturers have long tapped the concern of many consumers to eat a healthy diet by promoting their food products in as healthy a light as possible. In New Zealand, as in many other countries, there has been something of a backlash - back in 1996 the Commerce Commission successfully prosecuted Pacific Dunlop Holdings for making misleading claims about its Plumrose Light Deli Ham. The ham was labelled '90% fat-free', 'light deli ham' and 'healthier eating'. The courts deemed the labelling misleading as it created a false impression that it was healthier than other hams.
The new law is intended to make sure that manufacturers stick not just to the letter of the law but also to its spirit. It is all too easy for an uninformed consumer to assume that 90% fat-free is a low-fat product, Lindenmayer believes. He said: "Used correctly, nutrition claims are a useful tool to enable shoppers to make informed choices but, if they are misused, consumers will no longer trust these claims". The improper use of fat-free claims also puts those manufacturers who do strive for honest, straightforward labelling at a disadvantage.
Faced with increased competition from foreign imports, Australian fruit and vegetable producers are calling for new country-of-origin labelling laws. Campaigners say the next generation of Australians...
Food Standards Australia New Zealand today gazetted the new country of origin food labelling standard for Australia, making it officially law....
Food Standards Australia New Zealand today (Wednesday) published details of changes that it is considering to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code; regulations that govern the composition, la...
The New Zealand government has decided not to join with Australia in mandating country of origin labelling for food, it has announced today, Monday....
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has released details of changes it is considering to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code - food regulations designed to protect consumers and ens...
Australian officials have announced that the country has lifted its ban on the sale of Roquefort cheese....
The Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council will consider a final country of origin labelling proposal at its meeting in Sydney on 28 October 2005, Christopher Pyne, Australia's ...
A new food safety standard, covering the production and processing of seafood, was launched today (Tuesday) at the Sydney Fish Market by the parliamentary secretary for health and ageing, Christopher ...
- Danone's Q1: four things to learn
- Who will buy Danone's Stonyfield business?
- Column: Why snacking is the new meal
- Opinion: Big Food needs to think radically
- Nestle Q1 update: four things to learn
- PepsiCo affirms full-year target as Q1 hits mark
- Nestle to cut UK confectionery jobs
- Glanbia signs deal on Dairy Ireland stake sale
- Dole Food Co. files to go public again
- 2 Sisters' chief Boparan invests in UK's Crawshaw