Warning labels on packaged alcohol - Order for the production of documents

11 June 2020

Senator GRIFF (South Australia) (16:59): I move the motion as amended:

That—

(1) The Senate

(a) notes that:

   (i) Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has been asked to deliver a revised proposal for mandatory pregnancy warning labels on packaged alcohol to the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) by 22 June;

   (ii) the mandatory labelling proposal would replace the industry's voluntary labeling scheme of eight years, and includes a two-year transition phase and stock in trade exemptions, and

   (iii) FSANZ's original proposal was rejected by some Forum ministers in March because of what they saw as "unreasonable" costs to industry, the colour requirements of the label and the signal wording – that is, the use of the colour red and words "health warning" – mirroring the objections made solely by the alcohol industry;

(b) accepts that the original proposal FSANZ put forward in February is evidence-based and well-researched;

(c) questions how changing the signal wording "health warning" on a label eases any cost burden;

(d) further notes Ministers Colbeck and Littleproud are the Federal representatives on the forum, which meets on 17 July to consider the revised FSANZ proposal; and

(e) is concerned that the focus on one-off costs to industry and the potential watering down of the warning risks undermining the intention to reduce the number of alcohol-exposed pregnancies and rates of incurable and devastating Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in children.

(2) There be laid on the table, by 9.30am on 12 June 2020, all advice sought by or provided to Ministers Richard Colbeck and David Littleproud regarding mandatory pregnancy warning labels on packaged alcohol - aside from advice sought from or provided by FSANZ - since 4 October 2019.

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