Food Standard Code Revision

Posted By: Selerant RSA

The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code was first published on 20 December 2000. It has been amended approximately 80 times since then.  

An audit of the legal efficacy of the Code was conducted following a decision of the New South Wales Supreme Court in 2009. FSANZ prepared Proposal P1025 to revise the Code to address the issues identified in the audit in consultation with regulators.

FSANZ issued an initial round of public consultation in May 2013​, followed by a second round in July 2014. FSANZ approved the proposed Code variation in December 2014. The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation approved the variation on 30 January 2015.

The revised Code will commence on 1 March 2016.

Proposal P1025

The principal changes made by the variation include:

• a clearer statement of the requirements of the Code—to interact with offence provisions that rely on compliance with such requirements

• revision of provisions relating to the addition of food additives, processing aids and nutritive substances—to establish an objectively enforceable requirement

• revision of compositional requirements—to clarify the circumstances in which a compositional requirement is an enforceable requirement for a product for sale and those in which the requirement is a prerequisite to a permission

• creation of a dictionary of defined terms—to facilitate navigation in the Code.

In particular, the revision reduces uncertainty about the permissions to add substances to food that are in the current Code.

The revision is a step in an ongoing process of review and variation of the Code. Significant aspects of the operation of the Code are under review in separate proposals; such as Proposal P1024 which is considering the standards for nutritive substances and novel foods.

The revised Code will commence on 1 March 2016.

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