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Australian Food Labeling May be Reformed

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Published on : Feb 20, 2015

An outbreak of hepatitis A has been linked to the frozen berries imported from China. This is a recent development in what many believe to be badly created food law issues. The Australian government is possibly looking to make changes in their food labeling laws.

The changes that have been proposed would help identify the origin of food products in supermarkets more clearly. Apart from this reform, there is a growing pressure on the country to produce and use local agricultural products, which could further stifle the large number of Chinese imports and undercut a historic free trade pact.

Barnaby Joyce, the Federal Agriculture Minister said on Wednesday that he will do everything in his power to trust local produce more.

So far, 13 Australian residents have been diagnosed with hepatitis A which affects the liver. They contracted the disease after eating berries from a can of mixed frozen ones. The company linked to the infected packs is Patties Foods Ltd. and health officials said that they can expect more hepatitis A cases being registered in the next few weeks.

Hepatitis A can be caused by exposure to the feces of a contaminated person. The berries were grown in Chile and China and were packaged in a Chinese location. The location has been alleged to have extremely poor health and quality standards, along with a known tainted water supply.

The outbreak has caused the Australian government to introduce a bill to the parliament that wants a more informative label on the food products that are being sold in Australia. The bill was introduced by the Greens Party a week ago.

Joyce added that the old laws used to allow manufacturers to use words that could fool a consumer to buy  cheaply made products while thinking them to be premium ones.

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