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Thursday, 23 June 2011
Page: 3650

Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (10:47): The position is this: if a manu­facturer seeks to assert that they have certified sustainable palm oil, they can do so voluntarily. The efficacy and accuracy of that statement is something that would be subject to general Consumer Law provisions in terms of false and misleading statements. But I understand and appreciate the point made by both the opposition and, indeed, by the government about the traceability issues and the robustness of that. Therefore it is left to general provisions of Consumer Law as to false and misleading conduct if somebody raises the issue that they have got certified sustainable palm oil. The robustness of such claims is something that can be caught under general Consumer Law, but it is a matter that will be voluntary rather than having a statu­tory standard, and for the very reasons that Senator McLucas raises it is problematic.