Questions for Minister Fiona Nash in charge of FSANZ

Minister Fiona Nash was on the panel for ABC’s Q&A program on 8 February 2016. Here are two video questions we put to her, with transcripts.

Misleading food labels


I’m Dr Howard Dengate from the Food Intolerance Network.

Members of the Food Intolerance Network feel they are being deliberately misled by the food industry’s exploitation of current labelling laws.

Many chemicals supposedly regulated by FSANZ are now being added as ingredients to avoid being shown on the label as additives. This is deliberately misleading.

For example, there are 6 regulated forms of MSG and another 123 forms being added as ingredients so they are not subject to regulation.

Also, the bread preservative that many people like to avoid is now being hidden as ‘cultured dextrose’ or ‘cultured anything’.

My question to the Minister and Shadow Minister in charge of food is “how will you make your regulations effective in protecting consumers?”

Protecting children’s food


Hi, I’m Sue Dengate from the Food Intolerance Network.

Since 2010, foods in Europe and the UK that contain artificial certain colours have to carry the warning "may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children".

In practice, this means that artificial colours have pretty much disappeared from European foods, while they are still widely used in Australia.

My question to Minister Nash, as minister for food regulations, is: Don't you think that Australian kids should have the same level of protection as European children?

UPDATE: The issues were not raised during the TV show and of course no answer has ever been received. The questions remain however.......