Domestic

Changes proposed for country of origin labelling for meat

Beef Central, 21/07/2011

Food Standards Australia New Zealand is seeking submissions on a proposal to extend country-of-origin labelling to unpackaged beef, sheep and chicken meat.

Currently, all packaged foods, including packaged meat, but only some unpackaged foods (pork, fish, fruit and vegetables) require country-of-origin labelling.

FSANZ chief executive officer Steve McCutcheon said the Australian Government had asked FSANZ to address an inconsistency in country-of-origin labelling requirements for unpackaged meat after a change in rules for beef imports was made in 2010.

“The change caused concern among consumers about identifying the origin of unpackaged beef and led to a request from the Government to FSANZ to remove an inconsistency in the application of country-of-origin labelling to unpackaged meat,” Mr McCutcheon said.

Information received to date indicated that costs relating to the change in labelling of unpackaged beef, sheepmeat and poultry were unlikely to be substantial. Some major retailers were already labelling products voluntarily.

Mr McCutcheon said that after assessing public submissions, a recommendation on the proposal would go to the FSANZ board in late 2011.

Submissions on the consultation document are invited from consumers, the food industry and jurisdictions on the recommended approach contained in the proposal and its impacts.

Submissions close on August 29.

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