Advisory groups to food safety agencies seem to be catching on around the world.

Meeting this week for the first time, a new consumer-public health forum has been setup to advise Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).

FSANZ Chief Executive, Steve McCutcheon, said the group called “Consumer and Public Health Dialogue” includes representatives from peak consumer and public health bodies and public health academics.

“This forum is intended to improve FSANZ’s understanding of community food safety and public health issues, and provide for a more effective response from us to these issues,” McCutcheon said.

“The dialogue will broaden our understanding of the key consumer and public health issues relating to food and help to inform our communication activities. It will also help us better target the research that we do.”

McCutcheon said he hoped the dialogue would strengthen understanding among the representative groups of the work FSANZ does and its processes.

“FSANZ is aware of the food-related issues that concern consumers and has already established a grass roots consumer committee to ensure we get feedback on those issues. But we want to ensure that we get a comprehensive understanding all the concerns, including those from public health professionals.”

Associate Professor Heather Yeatman, from the University of Wollongong, chairs the group. . Other participants include Associate Professor Mark Lawrence (Deakin University); Dr Cliona Ni Mhurchu (University of Auckland) and representatives from:


  • Consumer NZ

  • Public Health Association Australia (PHAA)

  • Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA)

  • Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance (ACPDA)

  • Dietitians New Zealand (DNZ)

Both Canada and the United States have recently added new or re-established advisory groups to their food safety agencies.