Make a difference: Share your views on proposed changes to standards, regulations, policies and legislation.

We need to hear from you

As a leader in primary health care, the College is often approached by government and health organisations for its views on current standard, regulation, policy and legislation changes.

Your feedback, in any form, is essential in helping us develop our submissions to government bodies and health organisations.

Occasionally the College will not respond to consultations that are outside our area of expertise. However, even if the College is not responding on your behalf, we do encourage you to provide your feedback directly to the organisation.

If you would like to subscribe to consultation topics about your areas of special interest, please register with the professional interest groups in the 'my details' page in the Dashboard.

Current College consultations

 

Labeling of packaged food and drink

The Joint Food Regulation Committee would like your feedback on how sugar is labelled on packaged food and drink. The committee is trying to address a lack of information for consumers about sugar, and is considering whether or not packaging should be regulated. 

The Committee is consulting on seven proposals which are summarised below. The full consultation document is available online. Please send your feedback on the proposals to policy@rnzcgp.org.nz by 20 August 2018.

The seven proposals

  1. Maintain the status quo. Labels would only be required to list total sugars, and limited labelling options would be available related to added sugars.

  2. Education on how to read and interpret labelling information about sugars. This option proposes to provide consumers with education on how to read and interpret current labelling information about sugars. This option would not result in any changes to current food labels.

  3. Change to statement of ingredients. This option proposes to change the statement of ingredients to overtly identify sugars-based ingredients. Sugars-based ingredients added to a food are ‘added sugars’.

  4. Added sugars quantified in the Nutrition Information Panel (NIP). This option proposes to quantify a foods’ added sugars content in the NIP. Added sugars would be an addition to the existing information in the NIP.

  5. Advisory labels for foods high in added sugars. This option proposes to place advisory labels on foods that exceed a predetermined threshold for added sugars. The advisory labels would indicate that the food is high in added sugars, and/or include advice to consumers on the negative health consequences of consuming too much added sugars.

  6. Pictorial approaches to convey he amount of types of sugars in a serving of food. This option proposes to pictorially display the amount of sugars and/or added sugar in a serving of food. The pictorial information could be displayed on the front of the pack or in association with the NIP. Pictorially displays could include teaspoons of sugar or sugar cubes.

  7. Digital linking to off label web-based information about added sugars content. A food label would signal the availability of further information about the food which can be accessed on a website via an electronic or digital link. The digital/electronic link could be a “QR code”, bar code or other scannable code, or a link to a website that has to be typed into a browser.

 

Proposals related to regulation

The Committee also sets out several proposals related to regulation. These are listed below.

Non Regulatory
  1. Voluntary information. Industry would voluntary provide information about added sugars on food labels, with industry solely responsible for enforcement.

  2. Code of practice – industry driven. Industry would agree on how information about added sugars would be provided on the food label. These agreements and obligations would be described in a code of practice, with industry solely responsible for monitoring and enforcement.

  3. Code of practice – government driven. Industry and government would agree on how information about added sugars would be provided on the food label. These agreements and obligations would be described in a code of practice.
Regulatory
  1. The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code would mandate declarations about added sugars on the food label. Australian State and territory and New Zealand Governments would be responsible for implementation and monitoring to detect non-compliance. 

Other consultations

The College does not intend to make submissions on these consultations, however individual GPs may wish to respond.

No current consultations.

PHARMAC consultations

PHARMAC regularly conducts consultations on their processes and funding decisions. See the list of PHARMAC consultations.

The New Zealand government agency PHARMAC makes decisions about which vaccines, community and cancer medicines District Health Boards (DHBs) fund.