The National Heart Foundation of Australia has congratulated the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King on the announcement of a new food standard, in which food manufacturers will now have to provide scientific evidence of the heath claims of their product.
The government announcement, made at a meeting in Brisbane, is said to ensure that health claims, such as ‘contains calcium for healthy bones’, only appear on healthier foods and that foods containing higher levels of saturated fat, salt and sugar will not be able to claim health benefits.
Heart Foundation CEO, Dr Lyn Roberts, said the regulation of health claims made about foods was a win for consumers.
“For years many consumers have been misled into buying unhealthy foods, because of unsubstantiated health claims – often seen prominently on the front of packets and in featured marketing campaigns,” Dr Roberts said.
“Research showed that when consumers see products that have health claims, they assume they relate to all nutrients in the product.
“Now that food manufacturers have to support their health claim with scientific evidence, it will give consumers confidence in the products they are buying.
“We are pleased that government has reached an agreement that puts Australian people first before the food industry. While we don’t think it is perfect, it has gone a long way to addressing our concerns and is a big step in the right direction.
“This issue has been around for well over a decade and the Heart Foundation is pleased with this outcome.
“Public health groups, including the Heart Foundation, have been hard working with the government for many years to achieve this outcome.
“I congratulate Ms King on the new standard which is the work of almost 10 years of extensive consultation with public health organisations, consumers and the industry.”
(Source: Heart Foundation)
For more information on nutrition, including information on types and composition of food, nutrition and people, conditions related to nutrition, and diets and recipes, as well as some useful videos and tools, see Nutrition.