Australian Food Laws Under Review for the First Time in 30 Years

A new plan to review the food regulation system for Australia and New Zealand, FSANZ, is in place.
November 25, 2020

Australia and New Zealand share a food regulatory system under the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991. In November of 2019, a plan to reform the food regulation system for Australia and New Zealand was endorsed by the Australia New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation. As a result, the food regulations in place in Australia and New Zealand are currently under review for the first time in almost 30 years. All food businesses in the Australian food industry are encouraged to stay up-to-date on the review and the changes that will come from any amendments.

What is being reviewed?

The review of FSANZ will involve an examination of the responsibilities and operations of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). Reform ideas also include but are not limited to:

  • providing a definition of public health and safety legislation that will include long-term health and nutrition
  • making consumer choice an important factor in the regulations
  • recognizing the importance of trade
  • removing current exemptions in the FSANZ Act on food standards
  • subjecting food standards to regular checks
  • reframing legislation to support more risk-based processes
  • enabling FSANZ to adopt or incorporate international standards
  • bringing new food products to market in Australia and New Zealand more quickly
  • giving resources to FSANZ for providing food standards guidance
  • giving FSANZ new legislative power to provide binding interpretive advice about standards to jurisdictions and industry
  • providing FSANZ with the ability to enforce compliance with food standards (within limits)

Australians can have their say

Until Monday, November 16, the public will be able to review a scoping paper in order to provide their view on specific points and topics, as well as provide ideas for changes. Australians are encouraged to access and review the Scoping Paper on the Review of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991.

The Australian Institute of Food Safety is committed to providing Australian food businesses with current and important food industry information. We will continue to provide updates on the review as it becomes available.