What food businesses need to know
Health claims must be backed by robust scientific evidence and will only be permitted on foods that meet certain nutrition requirements. You need to be familiar with the regulations, set out in Standard 1.2.7 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.
How the regulations apply
Standard 1.2.7 — Nutrition, Health and Related Claims' defines the requirements that apply to the marketing of foods with health claims. These include:
- Foods can’t be too high in energy, saturated fat, sugar and sodium. To measure this, the food must meet the nutrient profiling scoring criterion (NPSC) developed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). This calculates the positive attributes of food, like protein, and the negative aspects, like saturated fat. FSANZ has developed an NPSC calculator to help you determine whether your food product qualifies for a health claim.
- Health claims must be supported by sound scientific evidence, either pre-approved by FSANZ or self-substantiated with a scientific evidence base and systematic review.
Meeting the new rules
All health and nutrition claims must now comply with Standard 1.2.7. There is a no-stock-in-trade provision, which means all food health claims used in labelling and advertisements must follow the rules.
All health claims used in the marketing and labelling of foods must either:
- be covered in the FSANZ list of pre-approved health claims
- be approved by FSANZ (following an application) to be added to their list of pre-approved health claims
- have the robust scientific evidence base to support a general level health claim, without being 'pre-approved' by FSANZ. This claim is self-substantiated by the food business.
Guidance for industry
MPI has been working closely with Australian departments and FSANZ, to develop a guidance document for industry. This is called 'Getting your claims right: A guide to complying with the Nutrition, Health and Related Claims Standard of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code'. This guidance document has been produced through targeted consultation with both Australian and New Zealand food industry representatives.
- Getting your claims right: A guide to complying with the Nutrition, Health and Related Claims Standard of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code
MPI has been engaging regularly with industry to build understanding of the standard.
Monitoring of health claims
MPI will monitor the impact of the standard. In 2015 a baseline survey of current health claims in the domestic market was carried out. A follow-up survey was carried out in 2017, one year post-transition, which determined uptake and assessed compliance.
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