The Federal government has rejected standardized 'traffic light' labeling on packaged food, sighting insufficient evidence to support the measure as the reason behind this move.
Food makers will now face new rules on the use of nutritional and health claims like- 'low fat' and 'high fiber'. Alcohol will have to be labeled with mandatory pregnancy warnings. Improvements will be made on back-of-pack labeling to give
consumers better information on sugar, fat and vegetable oil content in
Health Minister Nicola Roxon said, "During
consultation with stakeholders, we concluded that there is currently
not enough evidence to demonstrate that any of form of front-of-pack
labelling, including traffic light labelling and the daily intake
guide, provides Australians with the nutritional information they need
to make informed choices."
Doctors have criticized the
government's refusal to adopt traffic light labels. Australian Medical Association president Steve Hambleton said, "The traffic light
system was one of the key recommendations of the independent expert
panel chaired by Dr Neal Blewett, which the Ministerial Council on Food
Regulation expressly commissioned to investigate the evidence."