The NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Steve Whan, says
“Name and Shame provides that information.. in an easy to navigate one stop shop.
More than 2,000 food businesses have been issued more than 3,500 penalty notices and 63 prosecutions for violations of food safety laws since Name and Shame records began.”
Could the ACCC apply a similar approach to our complex and confusing food labelling and win the battle for healthier labelling laws?
On this topic the Croakey blog has reported
“Cancer Council research indicates that nine in 10 consumers are in favour of a traffic light labelling system on packaged foods and more than eight in 10 want to see it on menus at fast food outlets. Research also indicates that consumers find the traffic lights much easier to interpret than the percentage daily intake (%DI)…
Traffic light labelling uses multiple traffic light colours (green, amber or red) to indicate whether the levels of individual nutrients in a product (fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt) are low, medium or high. A single traffic light colour can also be given to indicate the overall healthiness of the product. The criteria for the traffic light system are well established in the UK and are being increasingly applied in Australia such as for school canteen purchases.
So it’s important to question why the processed food industry wants to follow a % DI scheme. Is it because they’re afraid if people have an easy and accurate way to judge the healthiness of their products, they’ll turn off in droves?”
Also on the Croakey blog Dr Catriona Bonfiglioli said recently
“The pressure is on to curb marketing of high-energy foods and drinks to children and for all foods and drinks to be labelled in ways which help people choose healthier diets – ideally with traffic light colours. The strength of this pressure can be measured by the gathering resistance among food and drink manufacturers and retailers’ organisations.”
The Ausbuy website says
“Ownership does matter because over 80% of our trading losses relate to interest, dividends, etc taken out of our business by foreign owned companies before tax. It is only when Australians en masse change their spending habits, that our bureaucrats and politicians will follow our lead. Thus, we can only secure jobs for our children by firstly changing our own purchasing attitudes and behaviour…
If every Australian changed from buying foreign owned to Australian owned we would reduce our current account deficit by $46.8 billion. “
“The top five reasons penalty notices are issued include cleanliness failures with premises or equipment (37 per cent), failure to wash hands or maintain hand basins (13 per cent), failure to exclude or eradicate pests (12 per cent), failure to hold food at safe temperatures (10 per cent), and failure to protect food from contamination (10 per cent).
The vast majority of NSW food businesses do the right thing and to protect these businesses and consumers we will continue to expose and penalise those who flout the law.
There are over 36,000 food businesses in NSW who are subject to routine inspections by local Councils. When you consider that 2,000 have appeared on Name and Shame it represents only a small proportion overall..
The other encouraging fact is that the Name and Shame concept is working – most businesses learn from their mistakes and work with authorities to improve food safety standards in their business. Just 204 of the businesses penalised have received penalty notices at subsequent inspections.”
Perhaps our agencies should enter the twittersphere and be FULLY informed by the public!