With the change in the federal government, we are advised that health bureaucrats are using this as an excuse to re-introduce problematic language to increase the scope of FSANZ beyond its current remit.
Along with our colleagues at Spirits and Cocktails, The Australian Distillers view is that it is a good time to review and update the FSANZ Act to reflect contemporary needs for industry and consumers. There is scope to modernise the Act and improve efficiency in the regulatory system. It is important that FSANZ remain focused on its core business – ensuring consumers have confidence that food is safe through the regulation of additives and contaminants to prevent acute diseases and food handling processes are hygienic
Expanding FSANZ’s remit to include issues like sustainability and packaging will stretch its resources further into areas it does not have expertise. While FSANZ should ensure consumers have transparent information to make informed decisions, to expand its role to intervene in longer term disease from lifestyle and behavioural choices will duplicate its work with health agencies, creating regulatory complexity for industry. Health departments and the national drinking guidelines already have clear recommendations around the consumption of alcohol, and consumer education should be channelled through those agencies.
Australian Distillers Association
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