Proposals for policies under the Food Safety Law Reform (FSLR) Bill

Closing Date:

Outcome of consultation

Consultation on the proposed policies under the Food Safety Law Reform (FSLR) Bill has closed.

During consultation, MPI received 50 submissions from a wide range of interested parties.

Summary of submissions and regulatory impact analysis

For more information about the outcome of the consultation, download the:

Decision

The policy decisions subsequently made by Cabinet are also available.


Consultation proposals

MPI wants feedback on proposals for the Food Safety Law Reform (FSLR) Bill, which aims to address recommendations from the Whey Protein Contamination (WPC) Inquiry that require changes to legislation.

What's being proposed?

To implement certain recommendations from the WPC Inquiry, the FSLR Bill proposes to make amendments to the Animal Products Act 1999, Food Act 2014 and Wine Act 2003 to help further strengthen our food safety regulatory system, which underpins New Zealand’s reputation as a reliable supplier of safe and suitable food.

MPI is seeking feedback on a number of proposals. Most of the proposals aim to provide further consistency and better align processes and systems under all 3 food safety Acts (Animal Products Act 1999, Food Act 2014 and Wine Act 2003) such as:

  • the traceability of products
  • providing more clarity around information to be included in risk management plans
  • responses to food safety incidents.

At a glance, the key proposals cover:

  • Improvements and streamlining content in custom risk management programmes and plans.
  • Establishing a more explicit framework for traceability and recalls, given its importance to New Zealand’s food safety and reputation.
  • Applying the compliance and enforcement tools that are in the Food Act 2014 to the Animal Products Act and the Wine Act, which will help develop a more consistent and fair approach to enforcement for non-compliance across the food safety system.
  • Allowing government to require businesses and individuals contracted to food operators (for example, research and diagnostic laboratories) to provide information relevant to food safety incidents. Having essential information during an incident is crucial for determining the scale of the response required.
  • Enabling more use of automated electronic systems for functions and activities such as issuing export certifications and providing official assurances.

Full details on all the proposals are in the consultation document.

Consultation document

Policy proposals for inclusion in the Food Safety Law Reform Bill [PDF, 1.1 MB]

Making a submission

Consultation on proposals for the FSLR Bill is open until 7 May 2015.

We have included questions for specific proposals throughout the consultation document. If you would like to respond directly to some or all of these:

You can send your submission to MPI by email, post, or hand delivery.

Email:
FSLRBill@mpi.govt.nz

Post:
Consultation: Policy proposals for the Food Safety Law Reform Bill
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140

Hand delivery:
Consultation: Policy proposals for the Food Safety Law Reform Bill
Ministry for Primary Industries
Pastoral House
25 The Terrace
Wellington

Note, that your submission is public information. Submissions may be the subject of requests for information under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). The OIA specifies that information is to be made available to requesters unless there are sufficient grounds for withholding it, as set out in the OIA. Submitters may wish to indicate grounds for withholding specific information contained in their submission, such as the information is commercially sensitive or they wish personal information to be withheld. Any decision to withhold information requested under the OIA is reviewable by the Ombudsman.


Frequently Asked Questions

What was the WPC incident?

The WPC contamination incident in 2013 originated from the suspected contamination of whey protein concentrate with clostridium botulinum. After extensive tracking and a precautionary recall, authorities were able to establish that products were not contaminated.

The Government Inquiry into the WPC Contamination Incident concluded that New Zealand’s food safety regulatory model is consistent with international principles and is among the best in the world.

However the Inquiry took the opportunity to make recommendations to further strengthen the system. The Government has accepted all recommendations and has made substantial progress with implementing these, of which a majority are being or have been implemented by non-regulatory means.

Download more information about responses to the other WPC recommendations [DOC, 86 KB]

The WPC Inquiry focused on an incident related to whey protein concentrate so why are you proposing changes to the Food and Wine Acts?

The WPC Inquiry looked at New Zealand’s food safety regulatory model and its recommendations highlighted improvements to further strengthen the system. We are therefore considering how these recommendations would apply across the wider food safety system.

In addition, businesses these days are multi-faceted and many work under more than one food safety Act so providing consistency and better aligning processes and systems under all three Acts will help to ensure our food safety system reflects the changing food production and export landscape.

Who will the Bill affect?

If the proposals are accepted, to some degree, food businesses regulated under the Animal Products Act, Food Act 2014, or Wine Act may potentially be affected.

In addition, as part of the consultation we are looking at improving the efficiency of access to important information for MPI to further ensure the safety and suitability of food. Agencies or organisations providing services to businesses in the food sector (such as research and diagnostic laboratories) or bodies providing accreditation for verifiers and evaluators may be affected.

How does this consultation relate to the consultation on regulations for the Food Act 2014?

This consultation is a separate process. The Food Act regulations consultation looks at proposals for regulations to support full implementation of the Food Act 2014 when the Act comes into force on 1 March 2016.

The FSLR Bill consultation, on the other hand, is about proposed legislative change to allow the Government to implement certain recommendations from the WPC inquiry, which are not directly connected to the regulations under the Food Act.

What happens next?

When the consultation period closes, MPI will analyse the feedback received and develop final proposals for Government consideration. The Bill will then be drafted and will likely be introduced to the House late in 2015. The public will then have a further opportunity to have its say through the select committee process for the Bill.

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