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Delay on Labelling Decision Disappointing for Australians and Orang-utans
A long-awaited decision to provide Australians and New Zealanders with clear labelling of palm oil has again been delayed at a meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation.
Since 2009, Zoos Victorian has campaigned alongside the Victorian community and animal welfare advocates, environmentalists and health and consumer advocates to secure mandatory labelling of palm oil on Australian food products.
Zoos Victoria CEO, Dr Jenny Gray, said the delay is deeply disappointing as it keeps Australian consumers in the dark when it comes to knowing whether the products they are buying contain palm oil.
“More than 300,000 Australians have been involved in the campaign for transparent palm oil labelling,” Dr Gray said.
“People care about what is in their food, and they also want to know that their food choices are not compromising their health or the future of wildlife such as the orang-utan.
“This delay is a blow to the 84% of Australians and 92% of New Zealand consumers who support palm oil labelling and fails to give consumers the right to know what is in their food.” *
Dr Gray praised the leadership of the Victorian Government for being the first State to advocate for the mandatory labelling of palm oil all food products in Australia.
“We are very proud that the Victorian Government has announced that mandatory palm oil labelling is a priority for the State and we look forward to continuing to work with them in making this a reality.”
Dr. Gray said “It’s time for Australia to join the European Union, Canada and the USA in affording our communities the right to make informed decisions on health and environmental grounds. Unfortunately, today’s lack of decision continues to leave Australia lagging behind this global trend and keep consumers in the dark.”
Zoos Victoria expects that transparent labelling will foster a community-driven demand for Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO), which is currently the best alternative to the unsustainably produced palm oil.
Dr. Gray says “We will not give up until we see palm oil clearly labelled in Australia. We urge consumers throughout Australia and New Zealand to take a moment to send a message to the Ministers with responsibility for the decision on palm oil labelling by visiting zoo.org.au/palmoil”
*UMR Research 2016