Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Labeling Laws in Australia and New Zealand

More and more Australians are being diagnosed with coeliac disease (as well as other forms of medically diagnosed gluten intolerance). This means there is an ever growing demand for high quality gluten free products. Coeliac Australia appreciates the efforts of gluten free food manufacturers in providing products that meet this demand.

People with coeliac disease source their gluten free products from supermarkets, health food shops, online and other independent retailers. The ‘Health Food Section’ of major supermarkets is often the first port of call, but they are also encouraged to identify other suitable products in other supermarket aisles.

The legislation for labeling of products in Australia is set out in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code). The Code is administered by Food Standards Australia New Zealand, a bi-national Government agency. The Code is enforced by State and Territory Departments and Food Agencies within Australia and New Zealand. Coeliac Australia has representation on both government and industry committees relating to the gluten free standard and allergen labeling.

The standard for claims in relation to gluten labeling is found in Standard 1.2.8 Nutrition Information Requirements, Clause 16:

16 Claims in relation to gluten content of food
(1) Claims in relation to the gluten content of food are prohibited unless expressly permitted by this Code.
(2) A claim to the effect that a food is gluten free must not be made in relation to a food unless the food contains –
(a) no detectable gluten; and no –

(i) oats or their products; or

(ii) cereals containing gluten that have been malted, or their products.

(3) A claim to the effect that a food has a low gluten content must not be made in relation to a food unless the food contains no more than 20 mg gluten per 100 g of the food.

(4) A claim to the effect that a food contains gluten or is high in gluten may be made in relation to a food.

Sourced from Coeliac Society of Australia Website

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