Decision on palm oil labelling delayed until next year

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1 NEWS

A decision on the compulsory labelling of products containing palm oil, linked to mass deforestation, has been delayed until next year.

A minister from each state, territory and federal government of Australasia, (NZ and Australia) met today to decide whether palm oil labelling legislation would be developed.

Palm oil labelling is currently not required on products sold in New Zealand and Food Safety Minister Jo Goodhew was among nine others from Australia at today's meeting in Brisbane.

In a month, the New Zealand Food Safety Minister will join a trans-Tasman vote on mandatory disclosure of palm oil products in supermarkets.
Source: Q+A

Ms Goodhew said the forum decided that Food Standards Australia New Zealand and the Food Regulation Standing Committee will prepare a "programme of work" which will be presented at the next meeting in April.

"This programme of work will further investigate labelling approaches, for providing information on sugars and added fats/vegetables oils, as separate issues," she said in a statement.

Anti palm oil campaigners said they were disappointed there was no decision, but were pleased the issue was still being considered. 

Organiser of the Australasian campaign pushing for labelling, Ben Dowdle, earlier told 1 NEWS "we have had over 30,000 postcards presented to Parliament, including 9000 emails".

There have also been 50,000 emails sent to Ministers in Australia, organised by Zoos Victoria, Mr Dowdle said.

He said 92 per cent of Kiwis support the change, according to independent polling. 

Campaigners pushing for a change say New Zealand is lagging behind the US and Europe where palm oil is clearly outlined on food.

The Victorian Government has committed to supporting palm oil labelling. 

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