Reports

Page last updated: 21 June 2017

Mandatory fortification of bread with folic acid and iodine

Mandatory fortification of bread with folic acid and iodine was implemented in 2009 as part of Standard 2.1.1 Cereals and Cereal Products under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

The policy objective of mandatory folic acid fortification of wheat flour for bread making, was to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects in the Australian population, by increasing the folic acid intake of women of child bearing age. The objective of mandatory iodine fortification of bread through the use of iodised salt, was to address the re-emergence of iodine deficiency in the general populations of Australia and New Zealand.

A review of mandatory folic acid and iodine fortification (the Review) was commenced two years after implementation, in response to a request by the then Australia New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council (now the Forum) for a comprehensive and independent review of the effectiveness of the mandatory initiatives. The Review also considered the adequacy of the monitoring framework for mandatory fortification agreed to by the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC) in 2007.

The Review was undertaken in three stages: Work was funded by the AHMAC, and overseen by a joint Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC) / AHMAC Working Group, chaired by the Australian Government Department of Health.

The net benefits of energy labelling on alcoholic beverages

Cost benefit analysis of the impacts of mandatory labelling of energy content on alcoholic beverages.

In 2009, the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (Forum) agreed to a comprehensive independent review of food labelling law and policy. An expert panel, chaired by Dr Neal Blewett AC, undertook the review and the panel’s final report, Labelling Logic: Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy (Labelling Logic) was publically released in January 2011.

In response, to the Labelling Logic recommendation 26, the Forum gave ‘in principle’ agreement “that energy content be displayed on the labels of all alcoholic beverages, consistent with the requirement for other food products”. The premise of this recommendation was that the provision of energy information would assist people wanting to manage their energy intake. Prior to further consideration of the issue, the Forum requested Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to undertake research, including discussions with industry, and complete a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) to assess the impact of implementing this recommendation. FSANZ contracted the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) to complete a CBA to assess the impact of implementing this recommendation. The Final report is entitled: The net benefits of energy labelling on alcoholic beverages and is published on the FSANZ website
The net benefits of energy labelling on alcoholic beverages

The CBA considered the cost of obesity and the likely benefits associated with obesity reduction; it did not include consideration of the costs of overweight which affects a large proportion of the population and is also associated with adverse health outcomes. The focus of the CBA was also limited to a mandatory regulatory approach and the associated impact on obesity rates.
The development of the CBA report in response to Recommendation 26 has led to further work being undertaken by the Food Regulation Standing Committee to consider a range of regulatory and non-regulatory approaches with associated impacts on obesity and other outcomes to fully inform the food regulation policy development process.

Pregnancy warnings on alcohol labels

Trans fatty acids in the New Zealand and Australian food supply

The Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council) endorsed a report on Trans Fatty Acids in the New Zealand and Australian Food Supply prepared by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) on 4 May 2007.

Trans Fatty Acids in the Australia and New Zealand Food Supply

At its meeting in October 2009, the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council) endorsed a review report which comprises a review of trans fatty acid in the Australia and New Zealand Food supply.

Review of the Operations of the Ministerial Council

On 2 May 2008, the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council (Ministerial Council) finalised the first review of its operations and endorsed the implementation of seven recommendations. With the exception of Recommendation 1, all recommendations contained in the Review of Ministerial Council Operations Final Report have now been implemented.

National mandatory folic acid fortification of wheat flour for making bread

Compliance survey of flour mills producing wheat flour for making bread in October 2010 – March 2011
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