8 Apr 2013

New food label standard could mean higher prices

10:05 pm on 8 April 2013

A new food regulation standard could hit supermarket shoppers in the pocket.

The standard, which comes into force on 9 May this year, imposes strict rules on what can and cannot be said on food labelling and advertising.

The rules will apply to everything from low-fat stickers on labels to more specific claims such as "Diets high in calcium may reduce the risk of osteoporosis in people 65 years and over".

The Retailers Association says it expects most products will be able to meet the new standards.

However, spokesperson Louise Evans McDonald says the cost to manufacturers of reviewing labels could potentially be passed on to suppliers - and that in turn could affect shelf prices.

Manufacturers will have three years to fully comply with the new standard, which takes effect on 9 May.

Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye says the standard is a win for consumers.

Nutrition Foundation chief executive Sue Pollard agrees, saying labels can be misleading and the standard is designed to give clarity to what the claims are.