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FSANZ reports back to ministers on added sugar labelling

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) released a report in June 2021: Review of nutrition labelling for added sugars. The review was undertaken at the request of Food Ministers with the aim of ensuring food labels provide adequate contextual information about sugars to enable consumers to make informed choices in support of dietary guidelines.

Ministers requested FSANZ review three policy options, which FSANZ has now completed, including stakeholder consultation.

Here are which options were supported and which weren’t:

  1. Quantifying added sugars in the nutrition information panel (NIP) (preferred by ministers).

While there are complexities in requiring added sugars labelling, no technical barriers were identified. 

  • FSANZ will prepare a proposal to amend the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Food Standards Code) with regard to added sugars information in Nutrition Information Panels (NIPs). 
  1. Applying a pictorial about sugar to sugary beverages/sugar-sweetened beverages. 

X   Further work is not recommended at this time. Government supports the Health Star Rating (HSR) system and industry uptake targets.

  1. Changing the statement of ingredients to identify sugars-based ingredients. 

X   Further work not recommended at this time as it does not help consumers make informed choices in support of dietary guidelines.

It looks like we will be seeing added sugars as a separate line on nutrition information panels in future, however it will take time for this regulatory change to occur and for the food sector to implement change in order to comply.

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