Health Minister Annette King has won unanimous support from Australian federal and state health ministers for an
amendment to include mandatory labelling of saturated fats and sugars in the draft food standards code.
Mrs King said the ministers gave New Zealand their support at today's meeting in Sydney of the Australia New Zealand
Food Standards Council.
"The ministers have adopted the comprehensive food standards code, including percentage labelling and the mandatory
nutrition information panels, with saturated fats and sugars now added as well."
Mrs King said the food standards code would come into effect in two years.
"In the meantime we are setting up an inter-governmental (federal, state and New Zealand) taskforce to examine the
impact of mandatory nutrition information panels (NIPs) on very small businesses.
"The taskforce will look at the threshold of when businesses might opt in or opt out of mandatory NIPs. We are talking
of a very small range of products and small boutique businesses, such as small jam makers who might sell their products
on site. The taskforce must report back by March next year on whether such businesses can opt in or opt out."
Mrs King said the taskforce would also look at the issue of retention of compositional standards on special foods, such
as peanut butter, chocolate, icecreams, creams and yoghurts, jams and fruit juice drinks.
"It has been a harmonious meeting, and a very successful day for New Zealand and for consumers. I believe the food
standards code will make sense to New Zealand manufacturers. Most of them already have NIPs on their products.