Magazines Archives - 2008 April
Changes in food code proposed for Australia and New Zealand
THE Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is proposing amendments to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code that include allowing a higher level of higher cadmium in peanuts.
The proposed amendments to the code are open for comment from individuals and organisations with an interest in the regulation of food, and could affect strategies of companies exporting food products to the two markets Down Under.
The FSANZ is an independent statutory agency that sets the food standards for Australia and New
Zealand. The agency is part of the Australian governments health-and-ageing portfolio.
The public-comment process ensures that [the] FSANZ has as much evidence ... as possible on which to base its decisions, the agency said.
One of the proposed amendments entails raising the existing maximum level of cadmium in peanuts. The proposal stemmed from an application filed by the Confectionery Manufacturers
of Australasia Limited, which wants flexibility in sourcing peanuts from a variety of countries to meet demand.
Cadmium has been associated with lung cancer, but there has been no conclusive study linking the element to the disease.
Observing that most countries do not impose a limit on the element in peanuts, the FSANZ has proposed to up the maximum level to 0.5mg per kg of peanuts from 0.1mg, and welcomes
comment on the issue.
Also up for discussion is a proposal from the Australian Beverage Council Ltd to permit the voluntary addition of fluoride as a nutrient in packaged water at up to 1.5mg per litre, as well as to set a cap on hydrocyanic acid in ready-to-eat cassava chips. Such measures, if complied with, would reduce the dietary exposure of consumers to hydrocyanic acid from this food product, the FSANZ noted.