Danish researchers have found that label colour coding for food health standards is the only system that has a positive influence of consumer choices. The team from Arhus University surveyed 1000 consumers in Polish and German shopping complexes on their responses to front of pack nutrition labelling and colour coded health information on snack foods.
As a revolution it is a quiet one, but no less profound because of that. The decision by Beef + Lamb New Zealand to support country of origin labelling is a dramatic shift in attitude for our major primary industries, one not yet supported by the dairy sector, or by our grocery trade at large. But if it becomes the tipping point for honest food labelling in this country our supermarkets will never be the same again.
From August 1, all beef and lamb that is not from New Zealand will be labelled as such.
The new labelling regime introduced by Nikki Kaye’s signature this week on the Food Standards Australia New Zealand document has been generally applauded by food companies. It falls in line with their argument that self-regulation is preferable to official interference in their marketing activities. Consumer advocates are also supportive, if only because this is the first time this Government has shown any interest in the health consequences of fast-moving consumer goods, other than alcohol and tobacco.
The Food and Grocery Council has come out in support of the new food label regime on nutrition claims, saying that it will be good for both local consumers and exporters.
The adoption of calorie symbols for food packaging that relate directly to human experience may by the breakthrough that the anti-obesity campaign needs to increase public awareness of the problems of overeating. The new proposal is to brand food with the walking distance required to burn the calories contained, rather than the number of calories.
According to the latest survey of consumer opinion, Americans want clear labelling on food containing genetically modified material (GMO). A poll conducted by YouGov with the Huffington Post found only 9% of respondents do not want GMO food identified by label, while 82% want to know.
An agricultural science student has recommended to the Australian Federal Government that food labels should be obliged to carry the price originally paid to farmers for raw materials. Ashlee Hammond, an ABC Heywire programme winner, wants farm costs to be listed alongside nutritional values on food labelling.
The suggestion by the Otago-Southland Coroner of health warnings on soft drinks was no doubt well intentioned, but shows a lack of understanding of New Zealand’s food regulatory system, NZ Food & Grocery Council CEO Katherine Rich says.
‘Seastar’ branded Samosa and Vegetable Spring Rolls with a Best Before date of 20.11.2014 have been recalled. Both products are sold frozen in 750 Gram packs and sold through Pak’n’Save and New World supermarkets throughout the upper North Island.
The New Zealand Food and Grocery Council (NZFGC) has backed the recent decision by Australian and New Zealand food safety ministers to regulate health and nutrition claims on food labelling.
Australian consumer advocate Choice has just published a survey it commissioned on food labels showing that almost half of food labels did not live up to their healthy claims.