Australian health minister Annette King launched on Wednesday an information poster, developed by the Australia New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA), to help consumers understand new food labelling as it is phased in by December next year.
At the launch In Wellington, King said: "Diet-related disease, such as heart disease, obesity and adult onset diabetes, is increasing in our society. More and more people want information at their fingertips when shopping for food so that they can make healthy choices for themselves and their family."
King stated that last December Australian health ministers had agreed that nutrition panels should be on all packaged foods so that consumers could see the amount of energy (kilojoules), protein, total fat, saturated fats, total carbohydrate, sugars and sodium in each food.
"There has been excellent cooperation from food retailers and manufacturers, including the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
"As well as giving nutritional information, the poster gives us other important information, such as the percentage labelling of key ingredients, so we will know exactly how much meat is in our meat pie or strawberry in our pot of yoghurt. The labels will be good news for people with allergies or intolerances to foods. The main foods, food ingredients or components of them, such as nuts, seafood, fish, milk, gluten, eggs and soybeans, that can cause severe adverse reactions in some people must be declared on the label, however small the amount," she added.