In August 2019 the Forum agreed that the most effective way to achieve nationally consistent menu labelling would be to develop a food regulatory measure under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. The first step was to develop a policy guideline to provide strategic guidance to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) about the Forum’s expectations about menu labelling.
Policy guidelines aim to improve outcomes for all by making clear and unambiguous the policy principles that apply to jurisdictions and bodies making food regulations. The creation of a policy guideline does not trigger regulatory action by FSANZ or changes to current food labelling. However, when FSANZ is developing or reviewing food regulatory measures, a written policy guideline is one of a number of matters to which it must have regard (as outlined in the FSANZ Act 1991) .
The Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC) consulted Australian stakeholders in early 2018 about the problems with the existing menu labelling regulation, and again in late 2018 about possible solutions. FRSC is now seeking stakeholder views to inform the development of policy guidance and an effective policy framework for consistent menu labelling. Food Ministers will be provided with a Decision Regulatory Impact Statement, which will include the preferred option for their consideration.
Stakeholders are invited to respond to the Public Consultation Regulation Impact Statement. An online survey is available on the Australian Government Department of Health Consultation Hub. The consultation opened 8 April and closes 3 June 2021.