New Zealand awaits for Aussie results on food labels

THE decision on whether packaged food in New Zealand will have a rating system of ticks, stars or colours will depend on how successful the scheme is in Australia.

That country has just launched a trial health-star rating system with labels that show salt, fat, sugar and energy content.

The scale is measured in half-star increments and is a voluntary system.

After two years, it will be evaluated and could be made mandatory.

After a meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Ministers Food Regulation Forum, New Zealand opted to watch what happens with the Australian roll-out.

But in the next few weeks, Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye will meet an advisory group of public health officials appointed by the Government to hear their views on the Australian system and to discuss possible approaches to voluntary front-of-pack labelling here.

The extent of transtasman trade in food means that it is important that what New Zealand does aligns with Australia, said Jenny Reid, manager Food Risk Assessment at the Ministry of Primary Industries.

The advisory group has already agreed that positive marks, such as stars, would be the basis of a ratings system and that any front of pack labelling system in New Zealand would be voluntary.

It is widely expected New Zealand will piggy-back on the Australian system because of strong transtasman connections in the food industry.

Last week, the UK launched its traffic-light food labelling system and all the major supermarkets registered for the voluntary programme. But Cadbury and Coca-Cola have not.

They preferred the Guideline Daily Amount system that was already in place.

Dr Helen Eyles, of the University of Auckland's National Institute for Health Innovation, said front of package labelling helped consumers know the true nutritional value of products.

Topics:  food food labels health new zealand

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Artist's 43-metre Gold Coast mural

AWESOME: Street artist Guido van Helten will paint on a 10-storey building at Southern Cross University's Gold Coast Campus.

Big art comes to Gold Coast Campus

Music is life... so play on Elizabeth

SHOWSTOPPER: Elizabeth Swain ready to celebrate her 80th birthday this weekend.

Festival of Elizabeth in Brunswick Heads.

Player, coach and ref

PLAYER, COACH, REFEREE: Ocean Shores Netballer Della Hamilton-Knight with her refereeing trophy.

Della is all over the court

Local Partners