Food Labelling

05 Feb 2009 questionsarchive

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Consumer Affairs a question about food labelling.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I have been contacted by a constituent who is very concerned about the standard of food labelling in Australia, particularly for imported goods. Her concerns arise from the fact that members of her family suffer from severe food allergies. Indeed, the consumer website of Choice states that nothing much is ever done about misleading food labelling, in spite of the fact that the state government has some role in ensuring that these things are done properly. My question is: given the increase in volume of imported food, especially from China, and in light of the unfortunate contamination of milk products, what measures has the government taken to ensure the safety of food products in South Australia?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for State/Local Government Relations, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Government Enterprises, Minister Assisting the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Energy) (14:27): I thank the honourable member for her most important question. This is a matter that concerns us all, particularly with the recent milk contamination scare. However, these matters are outside the responsibilities of my portfolio. I believe they are matters that come within the portfolio of the health minister, and there might also be some federal components involved as well. Nevertheless, I am happy to refer the honourable member's question to the appropriate minister and bring back a response.