REVIEW INTO MISLEADING SUGAR FREE CLAIMS

 

A year-long review of the rules associated with the sugar claims in alcoholic beverages is about to be started by the New Zealand and Australian Food Standards authority. The investigation comes amid concerns that some brands were portraying misleading messages to consumers.

Following an initial discussion that took place last November, The Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation began to look into sugar-related claims related to alcoholic drinks. The forum stated that were aware of an increasing number of alcoholic drinks for sale in both countries portraying that they were a certain percent sugar-free. They went on to say that ministries were concerned that these could potentially be misleading, and that as a result alcohol was being promoted as a healthier choice for consumers when public health advice to limit alcohol intake.

FSANZ said “based on the technical assessment, FSANZ has agreed to raise a proposal to clarify Standard 1.2.7. of the Australian and New Zealand Food Standards Code in line with the original policy intent that prohibits claims on alcoholic beverages in relation to sugar and carbohydrate. This work will be undertaken over the next 12 months.”

Under current guidelines from the Australian and New Zealand Food Standards Code nutrition content claims are not allowed to be displayed on alcoholic drinks that contain more than 1.15 percent alcohol with exceptions made for claims made regarding gluten. energy or carbohydrates.