Moves to further strengthen Australia's food safety record should be boosted by an agreement to transfer standard setting for primary products to the new Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Trish Worth, announced this week.
Worth said that the Council of Australian Governments had agreed that FSANZ would assume responsibility for developing primary production standards for use in all Australian States and Territories.
"Food Ministers have agreed to an overarching Policy Guideline on Primary Production and Processing Standards to guide FSANZ in this development.
It prescribes that the new standards maintain Australia' s safe food supply through a consistent approach across the entire food chain without being trade restrictive or by placing an excessive regulatory burden on industry," Worth said.
"This ensures that for the first time a single national framework exists for the development of all domestic food standards covering the entire food supply chain." Worth added.Worth said it made good sense to apply the same decision making processes to primary production and processors of primary products along with manufactured foods which, up until now, have been the main focus of FSANZ.
"Australia has a proud food safety record but increasingly public confidence is being challenged as they see new food safety issues emerge overseas such as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy."
"It is important to demonstrate to the Australian community and to our trading partners that safety is a priority from the beginning of the food chain to consumption stage." Worth claimed in a statement this week.