‘No reason to hold this up’: Govt go-slow on meat labelling recommendations slammed

Beef Central, 14/09/2023

DESPITE a senate inquiry last year recommending mandatory meat labelling laws with the support of Government and opposition Senators, the Federal Department of Agriculture is now asking industry for more views again.

Adam Coffey

Cattle Australia interim CEO Adam Coffey said it is time for the Albanese Government “to show consumers the respect they deserve” and follow the recommendations of the 2022 senate inquiry by improving labelling regulation to make a clear distinction between meat and plant-based alternatives.

Mr Coffey said current labelling standards have been exploited by some alternative protein manufacturers to trade off the reputation of Australia’s high-quality meat standards.

“Consumers should be able to eat the food they think they’re buying,” Mr Coffey said.

“Disguising plant-based products to look like meat can take that choice away from consumers.

“The ALP promised to resolve this issue during the election, now they must deliver.”

An extensive Senate inquiry chaired by Senator Susan McDonald in February 2022 recommended the Government introduce laws reserving the use of images of animals and terms such as ‘beef’ or ‘veal’ only for the genuine article.

However, despite bipartisan support from the major Parliamentary parties for the inquiry report, 18 months after it was handed down Government progress to enact its recommendations had been “very slow”, Senator McDonald told Kerry Lonergan on Beef Central’s Weekly Grill podcast in July.

Despite the comprehensive canvassing of views on the subject during the inquiry, the Department has issued a document seeking updated industry views on labelling.

“Noting this is a complex issue with diverse views, the department is seeking industries’ views on how plant-based protein products are labelled and the impact on the industry, and the specific elements of product labelling of highest priority to the industry,” the document states.

‘No reason to hold this up’

Mr Coffey said the issue is about ensuring food labelling has integrity, and making sure shoppers know what they’re getting.

“You shouldn’t have to read the fine print to know if you’re buying beef.

“There is no reason for the Government to hold this up.

“We would expect to have labelling issues resolved in Anthony Albanese’s first year of Government.

“There has been broad support across the Australian community for not just meat, but all food labelling to be accurate.

“Australia’s beef industry has spent decades building community trust as a healthy, clean, ethical and sustainable option.

“Alternative proteins simply haven’t proven themselves to many consumers and they need to put in the work themselves.

“Further, some consumers need to eat meat because of its nutrient-dense qualities – this is something alternative proteins cannot deliver.

“This should be an easy decision for the government and Cattle Australia urges them to take swift action.

“The Senate inquiry has done the work, now it’s time to get on with the job.”


Source: Cattle Australia


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


  1. mick alexander, 16/09/2023

    The only reason the albanese govt wants to go slow on labelling is to support the WEF and WHO in establishing one world governments, where meat is off the menu and gmo plants, gmo bugs and synthetic gmo crap are on the menu. Time we as Australians stood together and pushed every so called electorate representative (MLA), Senator and bureaucrat into a corner so they start looking after their communities and not the corrupt parties. Lets all tell the who and wef where they can put their bugs and synthetic crap. About time the National party started doing its job as a country party. We as the community only have a few real representatives in the country including Senators Canavan, Roberts, Hanson, Babet, Antic, Ex Sen Bernardi, McGraph, Rennick, and in Qld MLA Stephen Andrews. We need to support these people in every way and ask them to propose legislation to get rid of pseudo meat entirely until it can be proven safe for human consumption. That means generational studies with double blinded replicated trials initially with rats and mice before allowing it to be released on the human population. The same goes with the gmo bugs as they all require safety testing.

Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -