Wednesday, October 17, 2018
 New Zealand Sets New Labeling Requirements for Infant Formula  

New Zealand's food industry regulator, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), has issued new regulations for the labelling of retail ready infant and follow-on formula products. The regulations impact all dairy based formula intended for use by infants and young children that is packaged for retail that is to be exported. The only exclusion is product that is to be exported to Australia which is already regulated by the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.


The new regulations state "Infants have special nutritional needs and lower immunity than adults, and market expectations for safety and traceability are particularly high for infant formula products and formulated supplementary foods for young children". 

The Notice also specifies the information that must be on a label, but does not prescribe the format of the information. The label must be in a format that complies with the importing country’s or market’s requirements.

The regulation specifies what information must and must not be included in the labeling. Below is a list of some but not all of the requirements of the new legislation:

• the label must identify whether the formula is derived from cow, goat or sheep milk. If a goat or sheep milk based product contains ingredients derived from cow’s milk (e.g. lactose) this should be declared;
• all ingredients and food additives must be identified;
• the nutritive value (e.g. energy content, the amount of protein, fat and carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals and any other nutritive substance)l;
• instructions for use and storage of the product;
• the net weight of the product;
• the name and address of the supplier;
• the final premise of manufacture must be identified in the lot of batch number by a Unique Location Identifier assigned by MPI;
• a statement regarding the importance of breast feeding must be included as per the World Health Organization Code of Marketing for Breastmilk Substitutes (WHO Code).

Certain things are not allowed to be included on labels. Prohibited items include:

• pictures of mother and baby together or a baby;
• government emblems, flags and logos such as the MPI logo;
• health claims that state, suggest or imply the infant formula has beneficial effects or will reduce the risk of disease, such as “supports brain and eye development”.

"The standard has been developed as part of the infant formula market assurance program" commented Scott Gallagher, Deputy General of Regulation and Assurance, PMI. The NZ government formulated an infant formula market assurance programme in June 2013. 

Exports of infant formula from NZ must comply with the new regulation by June 18, 2016. 


Source: Dairy Trader


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