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Added sugars labelling update

The communique from the latest Food Ministers Meeting (FMM) held in Wellington, New Zealand on July 28 to discuss policy and regulatory matters included an update on added sugars labelling.

This initiative dates to 2020 when the Ministers endorsed a Policy Guideline on Food Labelling to Support Consumers to Make Informed Healthy Choices. This policy guideline includes:

  • ensuring information is easily accessed and understood,
  • supports consumers to compare foods,
  • does not promote consumption of foods inconsistent with the dietary guidelines, and
  • considers the nutritional content of the whole food, particularly risk nutrients identified in the dietary guidelines, to not mislead consumers.

The Ministers proposed a policy option of quantifying added sugars in the nutrition information panel (NIP). Food Standards Australia and new Zealand (FSANZ) has now completed an assessment of this option and have identified complexities and challenges with its implementation that may jeopardise the Ministers’ desired policy outcome.

Ministers discussed alternative approaches to stage the delivery of this work, including:

  • Incorporating a definition of added sugar into the Food Standards Code as a matter of priority, to ensure added sugar claims align with dietary guidelines. 
  • Identifying the best way to incorporate added sugars information into the NIP and on front of package labelling through appropriate consumer testing.

Ministers agreed to FSANZ undertaking consumer research on alternative labelling approaches to providing contextual information in addition to added sugars in the NIP.

You can read the Communique here

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