AUSVEG Chairman, Michael Badcock, today called on Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to retract the misleading and deceptive information they have been circulating to media agencies and key stakeholders regarding their proposed changes to food labelling regulations.

FSANZ media releases and spokespersons have repeatedly stated that in their new proposed labelling regulations it will no longer be adequate to state that ingredients are ‘imported’ and that the exact country of origin must be declared.

‘FSANZ has deliberately used the complexity of this issue to deceive consumers. For a statutory authority to be actively embarking on misleading and deceptive conduct is a disgrace,’ Michael Badcock said.

FSANZ’s proposal and the current regulation actually conceal where ingredients come from for most packaged food because it allows for the use of the term, ‘Made in Australia from local and imported ingredients.

‘This has totally deceived and misled Australian consumers because they believe that this means that the label will state in which country the food is grown, when in fact no change has been made to this part of the regulation on packaged goods,’ Michael said.

‘This is a difficult enough area without such conduct. The Australian government, as a key stakeholder in FSANZ has also been complicit in this conduct because it has failed to ensure FSANZ upholds the integrity required of a government authority.’

A recent Auspoll consumer survey (see found that 97% of Australian consumers think it is important that they are given accurate information about the country in which food products are grown.

‘Consumers agree that using the terms Made in Australia from local and imported ingredients is deceptive labelling. When presented with a label like this many consumers think it means the food is grown in Australia. And it doesn’t mean this at all,’ Michael Badcock, said.

‘What is the point of having labelling on food that is confusing to consumers? At the moment if you don’t want to buy a food product that is from overseas, you can’t actually make this choice under the current labelling system,’ Michael said.

Consumers will be ignored again because the recommended changes to the food standards code proposed by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) will not address the fundamental problems.

‘It is a complete joke. Making it compulsory to label where a food is made is one thing but if that label is ambiguous and doesn’t say where the food is grown, then it doesn’t help the consumers make a choice at all,’ Michael said.

Unless the proposed changes to the Food Standards Code are rewritten to reflect a consumer’s right to choose it should not be supported and AUSVEG calls on the State and Federal ministers that will be voting on the food code in late October to do the responsible thing and demand that consumer’s rights are protected.


Euan Laird, AUSVEG CEO (03) 9544 8098: 0400 117007
Michael Badcock, AUSVEG Chairman 0438 282439