The making of food standards

Page last updated: 2020

The FSANZ Act sets out the process for developing and amending food standards for Australia and New Zealand. The steps undertaken are set out below and involve a risk analysis by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), stakeholder consultation, and oversight by the Forum.

Steps in developing food standards

The following diagram is a simplified outline of the steps undertaken by FSANZ and the Forum when developing or amending a food standard. More detailed information is available in the Application Handbook on the FSANZ website.

Application or proposal
Administrative assessment of application
Notify applicant of outcome of administrative assessment
Public notification

If new standard or major variations then:

Initial assessment
At least one round of consultation
Assessment and drafting of standard
Consult with applicant and appropriate government agencies (Only applies for applications or proposals that are for a minor variation to an existing standard)
Approval by the FSANZ Board
Referred to Forum members
Forum members can seek a review
Undertake review and re-notify
Amend or reject
Finalised food standards become Law

If Ministers do not seek a review, the standard is gazetted and becomes law.

FSANZ can develop or amend a food standard in response to an application from an external party; organisation; individual; or by preparing an internal proposal. Individuals or organisations may also request that FSANZ raise an internal proposal.

FSANZ must consider policy guidelines that are approved by the Forum. As the decision maker, the Forum may also request that FSANZ review an existing standard or ask to develop a new standard.

Once FSANZ notifies the Forum that a draft standard or variation to the Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) has been approved, the Forum can seek a review. Requests for review of a standard are published here. If Ministers do not seek a review, the food standard is gazetted and becomes law. If the Forum seeks a review FSANZ must undertake the review and either reaffirm its decision, (with or without changes) or withdraw its approval. Reviewed decisions are returned to the Forum for further consideration, when the Forum can accept, amend or reject the draft standard.

FSANZ may review an existing food standard at the request of an outside party or the Forum.

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