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Greens welcome food labelling move

Monday 8 Apr 2013 11:57 a.m.

The Greens are welcoming the government's move to stop manufacturers making false or misleading claims about food products.

Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye has signed off the new regulations for making claims about the health properties of food on labels and announced them yesterday.

She says the regulations cover claims such as "low in fat" and "diets high in calcium may reduce the risk of osteoporosis in people 65 years and over".

The government will set the standard for 200 claims that are made about food products and Ms Kaye says consumers will have much more confidence in what they are buying.

Green Party food spokeswoman Mojo Mathers says it is a welcome step in the right direction but she believes the government should go further.

"To be effective, our labelling system needs to identify unhealthy foods that should only be eaten infrequently, not just the good foods," she said this morning.

New Zealand and Australian ministers responsible for food regulation approved a new joint standard on the issue in December. The standard will take effect in New Zealand from May 9.

Food companies have three years to fully comply.

"Health claims will only be permitted on certain foods and there will be strict requirements to ensure the claims are evidence-based," Ms Kaye said.

NZN

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