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Food labelling laws on hold until August

Following a number of highly publicised food poisoning scandals this year involving imported foods (particularly frozen berries from China and canned tuna from Thailand), PM Tony Abbott ordered the Minister for Industry Ian McFarlane and the Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce to prepare a proposal to be presented to the cabinet by March. Unfortunately, due to requiring consultation with the relevant industries, this has been delayed until at least August.

In February, 19 Australians contracted hepatitis A from eating contaminated frozen berries from China. A month later, 4 people contracted the potentially fatal scombroid food poisoning after consuming tinned tuna in a salad at a Sydney cafe that had been imported from Thailand.

Many sources in Australia have campaigned loudly for "Fair Dinkum Food Labelling" to ensure that Aussies know exactly where the food that they are purchasing and consuming has come from.

Mr Joyce's original plans may need to be watered down due to concerns from senior ministers who fear that any changes will hurt trade relationships and result in higher costs for consumers. Tony Abbott is committed to pushing ahead with the plan but accepts that some laws may need to be changed from the original proposal.

 

Source  :  The Daily Telegraph, 6 May 2015