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October 3, 2007

AUS/NZ: Watchdog ponders changes to food code

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), the local agency responsible for food standards, is considering changes to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), the local agency responsible for food standards, is considering changes to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.


The code regulates what foods can be sold in Australia and New Zealand. The changes involve the approval of a food additive for wine, amendments to levels of chemical residues present in food, the addition of lutein to infant formula and amended maximum residue limits for chemical residues in food.


Also included in the proposed changes is the possible approval of a genetically modified rice variety. Bayer CropScience has applied for approval to sell food derived from glufosinate ammonium-tolerant rice LLRICE62. The genetic modification makes the rice tolerant to the herbicide glufosinate ammonium.


By law, the FSANZ has to support its decisions with the best available scientific evidence, which is usually supplemented by economic impact analyses and studies into consumer behaviour.


The regulator, which prides itself on the transparency of its standard-setting procedures, has posted details of the proposed changes on its website, and invited public comment.

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