FSANZ to discuss biomarker claims

Related tags Nutrition Fsanz

A new policy on nutrition and health claims proposed by Australia
and New Zealand ministers could allow for 'biomarker claims',
subject to pre-market approval by the food standards agency.

The countries' Food Regulation Ministerial Council agreed last week on a number of new policy guidelines, including a proposal that biomarker claims, which would indicate for example that 'cholesterol is a biomarker for heart disease' on foods that can lower cholesterol, could be introduced subject to a number of verification processes.

It has asked Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) to begin developing requirements for biomarker claims on food, as part of a new standard for nutrition, health and related claims in the Food Standards Code.

Maintenance claims, enhancement claims and reference to serious disease will all also need pre-market assessment by FSANZ under the new guidelines. The Council has asked FSANZ to report back in May 2004 on options to streamline processes for pre-market assessment and verification and on the substantiation framework to support maintenance and enhancement claims for biomarkers, to ensure clarity for consumers and industry.

Ministers have also asked FSANZ to review the standard on novel foods, incorporated into the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code since June 200, but causing concern for industry.

The revised standard should provide greater clarity about the process FSANZ undertakes in determining if a food is novel. The Ministerial Council has asked the review of the standard has industry, government and consumer input.

The Ministerial Council also published a discussion paper on fortification of food with vitamins and minerals on 1 December 2003. Comments are due by 5 February 2004. The results of the consultation process will be used to develop a draft policy guideline, with Ministers scheduled to consider the guideline in May 2004.

Related topics Regulation & Policy Suppliers

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