New Food Standards Code from 1 March 2016

The complete list of food additives by name and number is now updated and live at

What does it mean for consumers? Very little. The deckchairs have been moved around for 436 pages.


Great media response: Daily Telegraph 1/03/2016, plus radio interviews in Sydney, Adelaide and regional NSW.

The list of additives remains largely the same. The 50 additives of concern to food intolerant people remain of concern and are no easier to detect by reading the Ingredients Panel.

The changes are in the 29 Schedules and 60 Standards attached to this Act and the changes are intended to benefit the food industry.

Lawyers have been running well-attended courses on how to game the ‘new’ system, mainly by removing numbers and chemical-sounding names, and replacing them with the same chemicals listed as innocent-sounding ingredients, or avoid listing them at all through various tricks. The Clean Label strategy is to keep alarming chemicals off the label (without being misleading or deceptive). A quick summary:

  • The 5% labelling loophole remains, unlike the EU and UK
  • Various chemicals have been reclassified as ‘processing aids’ so that they don’t appear on any label, such as chlorine, chlorine dioxide, dimethyl dicarbonate, ozone, hydrogen peroxide, lactoperoxidase, sodium thiocyanate, octanoic acid, white mineral oil and benzoyl peroxide
  • Some formerly regulated food additive levels have been set to GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice), whatever that is
  • The six forms of ‘white powder’ glutamate flavour enhancers continue to be regulated as before, but not the other 123 ways to add glutamates as ingredients
  • Sulphites in dried fruit remain at 3000 mg/kg, the highest level in the world, which might account for Australia’s high asthma rate
  • Bread preservative propionates 280-283 remain regulated as before, but chemically-identical 'cultured dextrose', 'cultured wheat' and 'cultured' anything can continue to be added as ingredients and not declared as preservatives even though they have the same technological purpose
  • ‘Flavours’ can still be used as vehicles for unlisted colours, including artificial colours, and preservatives
  • A lot of artificial and non-sugar sweeteners have been added.

We will make blog posts at to keep you up to date and inform you about how to read labels very carefully.

See three recent blog posts:


Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you want a pdf download of Standards (12.5Mb) and/or Schedules (10.4Mb).

MEDIA RELEASE from the food regulator FSANZ 1/03/2016

New Food Standards Code

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) today notified all stakeholders that a revised version of the Food Standards Code has now come into effect. There is no transition period between the old and the new version of the Code.

FSANZ Chief Executive Officer, Steve McCutcheon, said the Code had been revised so it more closely aligns with food Acts in Australian states and territories and in New Zealand.

“While the Code looks a lot different, the changes are relatively minor in nature,” Mr McCutcheon said. “All industry stakeholders will benefit from a clearer, easier to follow Food Standards Code.” [my emhphasis]

The new version of the Code can be viewed on the FSANZ website -

Summary of changes -

MEDIA RELEASE FROM FOOD INTOLERANCE NETWORK   7 ways to ‘game’ the new Food Standards Code (March 2016)


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