25 Nov 2016

Decision delayed over palm oil labelling

8:21 pm on 25 November 2016

A decision over whether food companies will have to label their products containing palm oil has been delayed.

Workers throw oil palm fruit branch to the truck on Nov 05, 2009, Chumporn, Thailand.

Workers throw oil palm fruit branches on a truck in Chumporn, Thailand. Photo: 123rf

The Australia New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation met in Brisbane today to discuss mandatory palm oil labelling.

The food and grocery industry is against such a move but health and environment groups say a change is urgent.

Campaigners say palm oil is in at least half of all food products on supermarket shelves, and has health and environmental impacts.

Unmask Palm Oil founder Ben Dowdle said the ministers have decided to create a subcommittee to investigate the issue further, and will reconvene in April next year.

Mr Dowdle said the delay was disappointing but he commended the Minister for Food Safety, Jo Goodhew, on her decision to keep the issue live.

He said the delay could contribute to health issues associated with palm oil and add further strain on the environment.

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