the right to choose clean food food standards and regulation

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  • Slide 1
  • The Right to choose clean food Food Standards and Regulation
  • Slide 2
  • Food is everyones issue Consumers are increasingly concerned about: Pesticide residues Food allergies and sensitivities New technologies: GM, irradiation, nanotech Additives Food adulteration
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  • Consumer assumptions Governments set food regulations with regard to human health Governments ensure compliance with regulations Companies act ethically and responsibly
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  • Food regulation in Australia - ACA INTERNATIONAL Codex Alimentarius WHO FAO WTO COMMONWEALTH Dept of Health and Ageing, DAFF, AQIS, FSANZ Local Government and Area Health Services OTHER: Food industry, Consumers, Health Experts STATE AND TERRITORY Health Dept, Agriculture, Primary industry
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  • FSANZ (Food regulator) objectives 1.Protection of public health and safety 2.Provision of adequate information so consumers can make informed choices 3.Prevention of misleading or deceptive conduct
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  • Conflict of interest? FSANZ also has to have regard to: The need for standards to be based on risk analysis using the best available scientific evidence The promotion of consistency between domestic and international food standards The desirability of an efficient and internationally competitive food industry
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  • Case studies Adulteration oil and melamine Additives Food irradiation Nanotechnology GM food
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  • 7.30 Report into Olive Oil Australian Olive Association had imported extra virgin olive oil tested All oils failed internationally recognised standards Too old Refined not virgin Some contained canola and pumace oil (waste product)
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  • No way to reject Oils Australia has no standards therefore no way to reject oil and penalise companies Australia is at risk of becoming a dumping ground This oil would not be tolerated if we were trying to export it into Italy, but at the same time we are taking oil from Italy or Spain which doesnt meet their requirements. Dr Rod Mailer, Australian Oils Research Lab
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  • Melamine Choices concerns Concerns about food inspections especially of imported seafood, fruit and vegetables Reports of dirty imports AQIS tests 5% of imported food AQIS tests all consignments of high risk food (cooked meat, poultry, seafood and some dairy) Need to rethink
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  • Food Additives Some are harmless and beneficial but: Nearly 300 approved for use in Australia 25 of these banned in other countries Approx 50 linked to cancer 55 can trigger asthma 30+ associated with hyperactivity and learning problems 80+ may contribute to kidney and liver problems About 30% are produced by Genetic Modification
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  • Citizen groups on additives Additive Alert Kids First campaign to get 6 food colourings banned. These colours will be phased out in GB in 2009 because of health concerns Low to No Additives Guide and additive free cookbook The Chemical Maze extensive guide to food additives and cosmetic ingredients
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  • Food irradiation in Australia 3 irradiation plants operating Herbs, spices, teas, and 9 tropical fruits may be irradiated Labels: No labels on unpackaged items sign nearby No clear standard label or warning Non-food unlabeled ie herbs, health formulations, stockfeed and pet food
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  • Nanotechnology A nanometre is one billionth of a metre DNA is 2.5 nm wide A human hair is 80,000 nm wide A nanoparticle is a particle with one side measuring 100nm or less Nanotechnology could be used in almost any industry
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  • Current uses of nanotech Sunscreen Vitamin supplements Anti-bacterial fridge liners, cutlery and breadboards Tennis racquets
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  • Is it safe to eat? Predicted market 2.4 billion US dollars by 2010 Industrial revolution caused large increase in nanoparticles as by-product urban air pollution Properties change at nano size (gold becomes blue) so hard to predict how particles will act Some nanoparticles have similarities to asbestos fibres No real idea how or what to test for Possible bioaccumulation
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  • Areas where nanotechnology may be used Food packaging Food quality analysis and monitoring Food processing Food additives
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  • What is our regulators approach? No applications received yet for nanotech in food Currently no labelling of vitamins that may have nanotech particles No new standard - Considered under Food additives and processing aids Not regarded as a novel food FSANZ will liaise with nanotech industry
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  • How FSANZ authorises GM food No tests done by FSANZ Relies on tests done by the companies wanting to release GM food Will look at published studies but very few exist Ignores the negative findings of the ones that have been done
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  • FSANZ approves every GM food RR canola BANNED in Austria rats liver increased 15% - growing in NSW and Vic Bt10 corn (US) ILLEGAL in Japan and EU. Testing to prevent contamination. MON 863 corn (US) BANNED by Austrian Government liver and kidney toxicity in rats Bt63 rice (China) ILLEGAL EU and NZ. Testing to prevent contamination. No action by FSANZ Alpha amylase corn designed for bioethanol. BANNED in S. Africa for human health concerns Greenpeace Eating in the Dark
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  • Together, the increasing exposure to GM foods and the increasing incidence of anaphylaxis have a close association. Anaphylaxis Graph: Paediatric food allergy trends in a community-based specialist allergy practice, 1995-2006, Raymond J Mullins, MJA Vol. 186 No. 12 pp 618-621 * Rate per million population. Food Approvals Graph: Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ): Genetically Modified Foods & Their Approval Status, entapplication1030.cfm Anaphylaxis Admissions vs. GM Crop Approvals
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  • Allergy tests on RR canola fatally flawed Monsanto was not able to identify and characterize one of its intended GM proteins in the GM canola planted in Victoria and New South Wales this year. Instead they supplied Food Standards with information about a protein that was not expected to be present in the crop. Wrong protein tested therefore the whole approval should be invalid Please help get the news out
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  • Where is food regulation heading? COAG identified food regulation as area to be targeted for ambitious reforms Productivity Commission research paper pressing need for accelerated reforms to reduce regulatory burdens.
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  • CHOICE Claire Hughes Opposes proposals to increase power of NSW and Vic in Food Ministers Council Wants Bettwaite report to be published Against fast tracking proposals that limit consumer consultation Our food system is actually designed to promote and protect the health of consumers. Its not just there to provide the framework for business
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  • Food Democracy vs Food Control Food Wars by Tim Lang and Micheal Heasman Food Democracy Bottom up decision making Genuinely open debate Exploring what people think Food control Top down decisions Limited dialogue Limited public engagement
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  • In the UK Citizens juries on GM UK Office of Communications (OFCOM) commissioned research workshops about junk food. Participants voted New policy framework Food Matters there should be a national conversation about how to go about transforming the food system Role of government to facilitate not lead discussion Active NGOs and public vital
  • Slide 27
  • Get active Network Contact FSANZ Contact Federal and State politicians Food Regulation Standing Committee senior bureaucrats advise Food Ministerial Council on food policy. Do not have to make advice public Food Ministerial Council labelling review COAG review of food regulation Join MADGE