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Jane Martin, Obesity Policy Coalition, comment on Food Forum decision to maintain status quo in treatment of juices under the Health Star Rating (HSR) system

Friday 12 February, 2021

The Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) has welcomed the decision by the Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum), to ensure the Health Star Rating on fruit juice accurately reflects its sugar content and is consistent with Australian Dietary Guidelines advice to limit fruit juice consumption because of its high energy density and low fibre content.

Comments from Jane Martin

“Today’s decision is a great outcome for public health. The Government has shown clear and strong leadership and demonstrated its commitment to Australians’ health, by voting to lower the Health Star Rating on juice, to more accurately penalise sugar in these drinks.

 The Forum’s decision has come after a robust two-year consultation process and follows scientific evidence and strong public health advice. Congratulations to Vic, Queensland, NT and ACT - it is heartening to see that in this case the Government has not bowed to industry pressure but relied on the science and put the health and wellbeing of its constituents first.

“While Australian Dietary Guidelines are due to be updated and strengthened in line with international advice on fruit juice, it is important that Australia’s approach is best practice. These Health Star Rating reforms will ensure that the Health Star Rating on fruit juices works for informing consumers and improving diets, and not just for processed food companies.”

View and download the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation communique here.