The Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management is disappointed that the Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation has failed to recognise the nutritional benefits of 100% fresh fruit and vegetable juice with no added sugar.
Minister Littleproud said despite the Commonwealth strong advocacy in support of agriculture, farmers and common-sense the Ministerial Forum has imposed this bad decision.
“The Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) have imposed the illogical regulation that will potentially see fruit juice end up having the same or lower star rating as diet cola,” Minister Littleproud said.
“We were on the side our $800 million dollar fruit juice industry and our nation’s 1900 citrus growers.
“Looking at the results of the Forum’s November 2019 decision health star rating decision, I put in a proposal to get it reconsidered.
“It seemed obvious to me that that 100% fresh fruit and vegetable juice with no added sugar should have a 5 star rating.
“It didn’t pass the pub test then and doesn’t pass the pub test now.
“I thank the pragmatic support given to the Commonwealth by New South Wales and South Australia for moving an amendment recognising the absurdity of the situation to rate at 4 Stars as a compromise.
“But this too was rejected the other states, territories and New Zealand.
“In all of this, the Forum lost the point of encouraging consumers to make healthy choices.
“We want Australians to eat and drink products that align with Australian Dietary Guidelines.
“We want Australians to consume more fresh fruit and vegetables. 100% fresh fruit and vegetable juice with no added sugar can make a healthy contribution.
“With this latest decision, it is the Food Forum’s star that has fallen.”