The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code sets out standards for food (“Standards”) that are legislative instruments under the Legislative Instruments Act 2003. A new Standard to regulate nutrition content claims and health claims on food labels and in advertisements became law on 18 January 2013 — Standard 1.2.7 – Nutrition, Health and Related Claims. The new Standard sets out conditions for making such claims.
Under the new Standard, health claims can only be made if they are based on food-health relationships that have been substantiated according to the Standard. There are more than 200 pre-approved food-health relationships set out in the Standard that can be used for general level health claims. Businesses may also self-substantiate a food-health relationship by notifying Food Standards Australia New Zealand of the relationship before making the health claim. Businesses are not able to rely on a food-health relationship that has been self-substantiated by another business, they will still need to undertake their own review. There will be a public record of food businesses that have self-substantiated a food-health relationship.
Foods carrying health claims must also meet certain compositional requirements that are set out in the Standard, including the nutrient profiling scoring criterion (NPSC). This means that before making a health claim, food businesses will need to ensure that the food meets a certain nutrient profiling score.
From 18 January 2013, Australian and New Zealand food businesses have three years to meet the requirements of the new Standard 1.2.7 – Nutrition, Health and Related Claims. Review the new Standard.
This article was prepared by Kate Sherburn (firstname.lastname@example.org / 61 3 8686 6716) of Norton Rose Australia.