IMPORTED FOOD WARNING LABELS BILL 2013
The Bill mandates warning labels on all imported foods, which can harm health if not grown or processed under Australia’s health and hygiene standards. The Bill aims to help consumers make informed choice about the potential health risks of purchasing and consuming imported food products.
This requirement for labelling on food products warns consumers that the product or produce is imported food and that it has not been grown or processed under Australian health and hygiene standards and may be injurious to your health. This Bill would, for instance, require, inter alia, fresh lemons (regulated unpackaged food) or a bag of lemons (minimally-packaged food) or lemon concentrate made from imported lemons (regulated packaged food) to carry the imported food warning label.
Australia’s stringent regulatory environment ensures Australia retains its favourable health status and that our produce and products are safe, healthy, clean and green. However, our foreign competitors can use chemicals not approved for use in Australia. Australian producers and growers cannot compete against their foreign competitors with our stringent regulatory environment.
Australia’s agricultural industries are placed at risk by the importation of diseases and infections abroad that would have devastating economic and social impacts. Incursions also set unacceptable precedents for future risk import assessment processes. Governments, in their duty of care to Australia’s agricultural and associated industries, must take all necessary steps to reduce the risk of exotic pests and diseases entering Australia.
This Bill aims to ensure that the food industry and consumers are aware of the risks associated with the importation and consumption of produce and food products that have not been grown or processed under Australia’s stringent health and hygiene standards. For instance, imported seafood inter alia can be infected with bacteria or tainted by drugs, sewage or antibiotics, which may cause serious harm to human health.
The Bill aims to inform the purchasing decisions of consumers thereby encouraging Australians to favour food grown or processed in Australia.