Greens to move on food pack labelling

COUNTRY-OF-ORIGIN labelling on food packaging would detail where the food is grown and produced, not where it is packaged, under a Greens proposal to be introduced to Parliament today.

At present, if more than half of the packaging costs are incurred in Australia and goods have been substantially processed here, regardless of where the basic produce is from, the item can be labelled ''made in'', which includes other labels such as ''manufactured in'' or ''Australian-made''.

Last year a review of Australia and New Zealand's food labelling laws recommended that for any food bearing some form of Australian claim, ''a consumer-friendly, food-specific country-of-origin labelling framework, based primarily on the ingoing weight of the ingredients and components (excluding water), be developed''.

Greens leader Christine Milne and deputy Adam Bandt will move bills in both houses that will enact the country-of-origin recommendation.

''Australians want to know where the food they buy to feed their families is actually grown, but they know they can't trust current 'made-in' labels,'' Senator Milne said.

''Farmers are also being dudded by current labelling laws, because they are not based on where the food is grown.''

The Greens also want another recommendation, that food-labelling laws be put in the Consumer Act, enacted.

''People don't know when they pick up a can of tomatoes with generic labels from Woolworths or Coles where the tomatoes in the can were grown - that is what people want to know and current labelling doesn't tell them that,'' Senator Milne said.

The story Greens to move on food pack labelling first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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