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High Costs for Country of Origin Labelling in Australia

by 5m Editor
3 May 2006, at 12:00am

AUSTRALIA - The report, which includes an independent study by the Centre for International Economics, concluded that this benefit to consumers would be outweighed by the costs to industry, which would harm the competitiveness of affected Australian-made goods. A new study shows it would cost Australians $120 million a year to extend country-of-origin labelling to canned or packaged food that includes two or less principal whole fruit or vegetable products. The report also shows that only 10 per cent of consumers would appreciate the extra information about the origin of the ingredients, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Christopher Pyne, said. “The Australian Government, with the agreement of the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council, directed Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to undertake a comprehensive impact analysis on the costs and benefits of the proposed extension of labeling requirements,” Mr Pyne said. “The report, which includes an independent study by the Centre for International Economics, concluded that this benefit to consumers would be outweighed by the costs to industry, which would harm the competitiveness of affected Australian-made goods in domestic and global markets,” he said. Mr Pyne said that, as a result of the study, the Government would not support the proposal to extend country-of-origin labeling when it is considered this week by the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council. FSANZ has already introduced a new standard for unpackaged fruit and vegetables, meat and fish products, so consumers can clearly see the origins of products in the supermarkets. “Country-of-origin labeling is important to enable Australians to support their domestic agricultural and manufacturing industries,” Mr Pyne said. <i>Source: Food Ingredients First</i>

5m Editor