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Australia, New Zealand Consider Food Code Changes

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is accepting comments on proposed changes to the Food Standards Code until Feb. 9. 

Among the changes announced in late 2010 are the approval of genetically modified corn, steviol as a high intensity sweetener, and food for special medical purposes.

Anyone can apply to amend the Food Standards Code.  FSANZ assesses the safety of any new food, substance or food production technology and conducts a regulatory impact analysis to ensure that the change results in net benefits to the community.

Among the changes under consideration are:

 

Food for Special Medical Purposes Proposal P242 – Preliminary Final Assessment:

Food for Special Medical Purposes (FSMP) are food products used under the supervision of medical or other health professionals (e.g. dietitians, nurses) for the management of people with chronic medical or disability conditions or acute stages of illness or injury.  Currently, there is no explicit standard for FSMPs in the Food Standards Code.  FSANZ proposes to develop a standard for FSMPs and welcomes public comment.

Food derived from herbicide-tolerant corn line DAS-40278-9 Application A1042 – 1st Assessment:

Dow AgroSciences Australia Limited is seeking approval for food derived from corn line DAS-40278-9.  This corn line has been genetically modified to be tolerant to the herbicides 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and quizalofop-P-ethyl, thereby providing corn growers with a broader weed management option.  FSANZ has conducted a full scientific evaluation of this GM corn to assess its safety for human consumption.  The views of interested parties are now being sought.

 

Permitted levels of steviol glycosides Application – Assessment:

Cargill Incorporated is seeking approval to increase the allowed maximum permitted level of steviol glycosides in ice cream, water-based beverages, brewed soft drinks, formulated beverages and flavored soy beverages.  Steviol glycosides are high intensity sweeteners used as sugar substitutes by the food industry.  Cargill claims that the increased levels are required to provide a more acceptable taste profile for consumers.  We invite comment on this application.

Calcium lignosulphonate (40-65) as a food additive Application A1030 – Assessment:

DSM Nutritional Products Australia Pty Ltd. has requested permission for the use of calcium lignosulphonate (40-65) as a carrier for fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) and carotenoids in preparations of food additives and nutrients to facilitate their introduction into water-based foods.  Calcium lignosulphonate (40-65) assists in ensuring uniform dispersal and distribution of water insoluble vitamins and carotenoids into water based foods and beverages.  We are seeking comment, especially from the food industry.

Code maintenance Proposal P1013 – Assessment:

FSANZ regularly seeks to amend the Code to maintain its currency and clarity.  The purpose of this proposal is to assess a range of proposed amendments to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.  The proposed amendments are intended to address inconsistencies, misspellings, grammatical and typographical errors, omissions and items requiring updating or clarification.                                                                                                                                

Details of the assessment reports can be found at www.foodstandards.gov.au.  

 

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