Member for Mallee, Anne Webster, has called the decision by the Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation very disappointing, after they failed to keep the health star rating of Natural Fruit juice at 5 stars. This puts Australia’s $880 million fruit juice industry at risk,
“In making this move, the Food Forum has not recognised the nutritional benefits of 100% fresh fruit and vegetable juice with no added sugar. The move will mean that 100% fruit and vegetable juices could have the same rating as diet soft drink.” Dr Webster said. “It seems obvious to me that fresh, natural fruit juice should keep it’s 5 star rating.”
‘Today’s decision has put at risk our local jobs, the livelihoods of local growers, regional communities and people’s health. It is short sighted.’
The Commonwealth Government, New South Wales and South Australia stood with the Citrus and Juice Industry and did not support the changes to the health star rating, while the Victorian Government voted for the changes.
‘It is disappointing to see the State Labor government dessert the fresh juice industry in Victoria in this way. They have shown again a lack of understanding and value for the agricultural industry.’
Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud has said that these changes don’t pass the pub test.
‘I am pleased that my consistent lobbying and that of other National Party MPs, led to the Commonwealth Government supporting a position that was based on common sense.’
“I will continue to work with Industry to ensure that the best outcomes for our growers and consumers can be achieved and have set up a petition on my website www.annewebster.com.au