New Zealand Food Agency Wants Public Views on Soft Drinks with Added Vitamins and Minerals

New Zealand (FSANZ) invited individuals and organisations to comment on an application it has received to vary the Food Standards Code to permit the sale of formulated beverages – non-alcoholic water-based beverages containing a wide range of vitamins and minerals.

The application was made by Australasian Soft Drink Association Ltd to create a harmonised set of regulations for these drinks between Australia and New Zealand.

At present, these beverages can be manufactured in New Zealand but not in Australia. However, under the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement, they can be produced in New Zealand and sold in Australia, to the disadvantage of Australian manufacturers.

FSANZ Managing Director Ian Lindenmayer said the application (A470) sought permission to add vitamins and minerals to formulated beverages at levels above existing permissions in the Code for most foods.

“We will therefore be looking at the exposure of consumers to these vitamins and minerals from all sources, whether any vulnerable groups within the community would be adversely affected, and the use of formulated beverages in other foods”, Mr Lindenmayer said.

“Finally, we want advice on whether FSANZ should treat formulated beverages as a general purpose food or as having a supplemental purpose similar to food-type dietary supplements.”

Mr Lindenmayer said FSANZ was currently reviewing the regulations for food-type dietary supplements through proposal P235 (see FSANZ website for Initial Assessment report).

More information: Initial Assessment report for application A470 can be accessed on the FSANZ website at . Details on how to make a submission can also be found on the website.

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