As the federal election draws near, the food labelling debate is gathering momentum with key figures expressing their concerns on the current guidelines and standards.
Independent senator Nick Xenophon, has described the current labelling guidelines as ‘a joke’ as reported by the Weekly Times Now.
"I want food labelling to be a key election issue because current laws aren't just useless, but misleading," Senator Xenophon.
Backed by the Greens, Xenophon believes that the more open the discussion about Australia’s food labelling standards, the better.
"If I'm back in the senate and back in the balance of power position, I will make food labelling a key issue,” he said.
"And while the major political parties don't seem to be taking an interest at this stage, they will have to sit up and listen if this current drive continues."
Billionaire businessman Clive Palmer is also supporting this sentiment by stating that should his party, the United Australia Party, be successful in the upcoming election, then he will introduce a law sighting the mandatory labelling of consumable goods containing less than 95 percent Australian components and packaging.
"Under the current laws, it is impossible to determine the breakdown between ingredients and packaging when an item is labelled Australian-made," Mr Palmer said in a statement.
"People may think they are supporting Australian producers when in fact only a very small percentage of what they spend may be staying in the country."
Federal Member of Kennedy, Bob Katter has also joined the debate by stating that he wants imported foods to carry warning labels. He says that the labels should inform consumers of potential unidentified risks that imported foods may carry, including health risks and the use of harmful chemicals.
The debate comes at a sensitive time for many growers around Australia as the rise in imported goods reaches all time highs. 60 orchardists in the Goulburn Valley region were informed earlier this year that SPC Ardmona will no longer purchase fruit from growers, and McCain foods also announced last week that they will not be renewing the contracts for four potato growers past harvest season in November.
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