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Government must release draft food labelling bill



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SENATOR KIM CARR

SHADOW MINISTER FOR INNOVATION AND INDUSTRY

JOEL FITZGIBBON MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FORESTRY SHADOW MINISTER FOR RURAL AFFAIRS

STEPHEN JONES MP

SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR HEALTH

ANDREW LEIGH MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMPETITION

GOVERNMENT MUST RELEASE DRAFT FOOD LABELLING BILL

Labor calls on the Abbott-Turnbull Government to work constructively with the Opposition and release the exposure draft of its country-of-origin labelling bill.

It is concerning that the Abbott-Turnbull Government has opted to keep ongoing policy development on country-of-origin labelling requirements under wraps, particularly since Labor committed to finding a bipartisan solution on food labelling in February 2015.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council held its annual Leaders’ Forum at Parliament House today to highlight the critical role the $118 billion food and grocery processing industry plays in our economy.

This is clearly an important issue for consumers, manufacturers and producers.

Labor understands that exposure draft legislation has been developed and believes that the document should be available to the entire Parliament, industry and the community for consideration.

The Abbott Government undertook to introduce new country-of-origin labelling laws following its inept handling of this year’s hepatitis A outbreak, which it claimed resulted in over 30 people being infected after consuming imported berries.

Australians are entitled to know exactly where their food comes from and not get confused by misleading labelling on the packet.

Buying Australian is the best way to secure quality food and Labor remains willing to work with Mr Turnbull and his colleagues to improve our country-of-origin labelling requirements.

This can only be achieved if the Abbott-Turnbull Government is prepared to work in a bipartisan manner with Labor.

WEDNESDAY, 21 OCTOBER 2015

MEDIA CONTACTS: THOMAS MOORHEAD (CARR) 0427 126 355 NATASA SIKMAN (FITZGIBBON) 0467 550 065

JOHN RONAN (JONES) 0408 542 547

JENNIFER RAYNER (LEIGH) 0428 214 856