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FOOD STANDARDS AUSTRALIA NEW ZEALAND ACT 1991 - SECT 18

Objectives of the Authority in developing or reviewing food regulatory measures and variations of food regulatory measures

             (1)  The objectives (in descending priority order) of the Authority in developing or reviewing food regulatory measures and variations of food regulatory measures are:

                     (a)  the protection of public health and safety; and

                     (b)  the provision of adequate information relating to food to enable consumers to make informed choices; and

                     (c)  the prevention of misleading or deceptive conduct.

             (2)  In developing or reviewing food regulatory measures and variations of food regulatory measures, the Authority must also have regard to the following:

                     (a)  the need for standards to be based on risk analysis using the best available scientific evidence;

                     (b)  the promotion of consistency between domestic and international food standards;

                     (c)  the desirability of an efficient and internationally competitive food industry;

                     (d)  the promotion of fair trading in food;

                     (e)  any written policy guidelines formulated by the Forum on Food Regulation for the purposes of this paragraph and notified to the Authority.

             (3)  If any policy guidelines formulated by the Forum on Food Regulation for the purposes of paragraph (2)(e) are notified to the Authority, the Authority must publish the guidelines on the Authority's website.

          (3A)  Policy guidelines formulated by the Forum on Food Regulation for the purposes of paragraph (2)(e) must not be inconsistent with the objectives set out in subsection (1).

             (4)  Where the Authority considers that the best available scientific evidence referred to in paragraph (2)(a) is insufficient, the Authority may provisionally adopt sanitary or phytosanitary measures on the basis of available pertinent scientific information. In such cases, the Authority must take all reasonable steps to obtain the information necessary for a more objective risk analysis and a review of the sanitary or phytosanitary measures, to be undertaken within a reasonable period of time.

             (5)  For the purposes of this section, a sanitary or phytosanitary measure means any measure applied:

                     (a)  to protect animal or plant life or health from risks arising from the entry, establishment or spread of pests, diseases, disease-carrying organisms or disease-causing organisms; or

                     (b)  to protect human or animal life or health from risks arising from additives, contaminants, toxins or disease-causing organisms in foods, beverages or feedstuffs; or

                     (c)  to protect human life or health from risks arising from diseases carried by animals, plants or products thereof, or from the entry, establishment or spread of pests; or

                     (d)  to prevent or limit other damage from the entry, establishment or spread of pests;

and includes:

                     (e)  any relevant law, decree, regulation, requirement or procedure, including end product criteria; and

                      (f)  processes and production methods; and

                     (g)  testing, inspection, certification and approval procedures; and

                     (h)  quarantine treatments including relevant requirements associated with the transport of animals or plants, or with the materials necessary for their survival during transport; and

                      (i)  provisions on relevant statistical methods, sampling procedures and methods of risk assessment; and

                      (j)  packaging and labelling requirements directly related to food safety.

             (6)  A policy guideline formulated by the Forum on Food Regulation for the purposes of paragraph (2)(e) is not a legislative instrument.



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