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Our role in supporting nutrition-related public health

As part of the Australia and New Zealand food regulatory system, we play an important role in supporting nutrition-related public health.

Our core role is setting food standards so that Australian and New Zealand consumers have safe food and can make informed choices about the food they buy.

More about our core objectives can be found in our position statement (doc 42.3kb).

Here’s a look at what we do:

Supporting public health nutrition

A nutritious diet is important to the health and wellbeing of Australian and New Zealand consumers.

When setting food standards to approve new foods and ingredients, we look at the potential risks to make sure the diet of consumers continues to be safe. We may also look at the potential benefits for improving the dietary intake of the Australia and New Zealand populations.

This work includes setting requirements for:

Labelling for informed choice

We set standards for how food must be labelled so consumers can make informed choices about the food they buy.

We take into account consumer knowledge and understanding so that labels can be understood by most consumers.

Labelling standards ensure:

Monitoring and research

We regularly monitor the food supply to make sure food is safe and nutritious for consumers.

Some of the things we look at include:

Our research is used to inform public health policy and initiatives to improve the health and wellbeing of the community and includes:

Find out more about our monitoring and research work.

We also undertake and publish a range of social science research and literature reviews to better understand consumer awareness, attitudes and behaviours in relation to food labelling and consumption. Some of our most recent consumer research work includes:

Find out more about our social science research and literature reviews here.

Guides and tools

We have a range of tools and information for consumers and food businesses. These include:

Working together

We are one part of a strong food regulatory system that works together to:

  • Protect the health and safety of consumers by reducing food-related risks.
  • Help consumers make informed choices about food by making sure they have information they need and are not misled.
  • Support public health by promoting healthy food choices, maintaining and enhancing the nutritional qualities of food and responding to specific public health concerns.
  • Support a strong, sustainable food industry that offers a diverse, affordable food supply that also benefits the Australian and New Zealand economies.

The food regulation priorities for 2017-2021 are to:

  • Reduce foodborne illness, particularly related to Campylobacter and Salmonella.
  • Support the public health objectives to reduce chronic disease related to overweight and obesity.
  • Maintain a strong, robust and agile food regulation system.

We work with our partners on strategies to support these priorities. Our partners include:

  • Department of Health
  • New Zealand Government
  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • State and Territory enforcement agencies

We also work with the community and representative groups to ensure the standards we set contribute to a safe and nutritious food supply.

Our consultation includes:

We also contribute our expertise to activities that promote healthy eating:



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