Front-of-pack food labelling success
[7.6.13] We are pleased to report that the Commonwealth and state and territory food and health ministers announced that a Health Star Rating system will be introduced on food labels to help shoppers make healthier choices.
The system will consist of a star rating scale of ½ a star to 5 stars, with ½ star increments and apply to packaged, manufactured or processed foods presented ready for sale. The number of stars will be calculated using a government endorsed system with more stars for healthier food.
Nutrition information will also be shown for saturated fat, sugars and sodium and one optional positive nutrient (e.g. calcium) relevant to the particular food, along with an icon showing kilojoule content. The system makes comparing products easier by showing the nutrition content per 100 grams.
Cancer Council Australia welcomed this decision, which includes a requirement that the new Health Star Rating scheme be mandatory if it is not widely adopted by food companies within two years. CEO Professor Ian Olver said Australia faced a significant increase in cancers caused by obesity and overweight, with food choices one of the key factors behind the anticipated rise.
Thank you to everyone who joined our campaign to ask the NSW Primary Industries Minister to endorse the scheme. Your support contributed to this success by showing that Australians are demanding more informative food labels.
We’d love to hear what you think of the new labels – leave a comment below.