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Dissenting report – Mr Adam Bandt, MP, Australian Greens

There is widespread community support for the labelling of palm oil. Consumers expect that they will be able to choose whether or not to purchase items containing palm oil.

This support was reflected in the passage of the Food Standards Amendment (Truth in Labelling –Palm Oil) Bill 2011 through the Senate.

It is disappointing that the Government is not prepared to support this Bill and that the Coalition has altered its level of support.

If there are, as the Government alleges, barriers to the Parliament passing the Bill, then the Government has the power to remove those barriers, and should do everything necessary to enable labelling of palm oil and the passage of this Bill.

Further, the Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy has been underway for two years and the rate of reform is frustratingly slow.  The main driver for food labelling should be conveying information that enables consumers to make informed choices, rather than the demands of the food industry. Further the Ministerial Council should set a very clear direction for FSANZ to improve its response to consumer requirements, including environmental and ethical concerns as well as food safety issues.

 

Recommendation 1:

The House of Representatives proceed to pass the Food Standards Amendment (Truth in Labelling –Palm Oil) Bill 2011 and requests that the Government take all steps necessary to enable the prompt passage and effective implementation of the Bill.

Recommendation 2:

The committee submits to the Ministerial Council meeting in December that a comprehensive system of food labelling be implemented without delay, in particular the labelling of food products containing palm oil.

 

Mr Adam Bandt, MP

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