Australia’s food and beverage manufacturers are committed to ensuring that Australian consumers receive the best evidence-based nutritional information to help them construct healthy diets.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has participated in the review of the Health Star Rating (HSR) system, and was concerned about Minister Littleproud’s revelation that some state Ministers were supporting changes to the HSR that would have seen 100 per cent fresh fruit and vegetable juices receive a lower star rating than diet beverages. The AFGC is pleased that sense has prevailed for the meantime, with the Forum on Food Regulation Communique, released this afternoon, stating that the issue will continue to be examined.

“In the Communiqué released this afternoon, we note that diet beverages will now achieve no more than 3.5 stars and that the federal Department of Health will provide further advice in relation to adjusting the HSR calculator for 100 per cent fruit and vegetable juices (no added sugar) at the next meeting in February.

“We welcome the further consideration that Ministers will give to this matter.  We want to see a health star rating system that consumers can trust, said Ms Barden.

“Australian consumers and food and beverage manufacturers want an easy to understand and trustworthy system, which means it must be based on evidence and not political interference.

“The AFGC stands by the HSR, which is a gold standard for front of pack nutrition labelling.  There just needs to be common sense in how categories are treated and that the system maintains its integrity”, said Ms Barden.