It is expensive to analyse food to comply with mandatory food labelling laws. Expensive, and in many cases, entirely superfluous. Voluntary labelling achieves most of the same benefits, but at a significantly lower cost of implementation and compliance policing. Cheaper food sounds like smart policy, in this day and age. [Great commentary by opinionista, Ivo Vegter, on the Daily Maverick. Ed]
Food Labelling Regulations
Most South African food industrialists are probably by now (or should be) au fait with "R146", the new food labelling regulations, and what they entail. Coming into force this month, there has been much media interest in what R146 means for the public, with Megan Power, consumer columnist on the Sunday Times, the latest to expand on what's allowed and what's not.
R146, the new food labelling legislation, now nearly three weeks 'live', made some headlines again this week. Top labelling consultants were quoted in several mainstream media that, as it stands, R146's stringent approach to nutritional labelling and declarations will have the unintended consequence of leaving consumers with even less information on food products.
South Africa's new legislation related to food labelling and advertising, R146, become mandatory on 1 March 2012, and have been long-awaited by the food industry, the nutrition fraternity and the public alike. This useful article outlines their advantages for consumers, as well as several disadvantages.
Food labelling consultants, as well as many manufacturers and packaging vendors, are likely in a spin of busy-ness as March 1 approaches and R146 kicks into action. Two leading labelling experts, Nigel Sunley and Moira Byers of the Consulting in Food Labelling team, found some time in their frantic schedule this week to answer these questions on the state of labelling play ahead of D-Day...
D-Day for the new labelling regulations is fast approaching (March 2012). R146, as the legislation is named, was part of the proceedings at the October annual conference of the Consumer Goods Council of SA. Yolande van der Riet, Nutritional Specialist with the CGCSA's Food Safety Initiative, made the presentation which is available for download on the CGCSA's website.
The tough restrictions on health claims in R146 (the regulations governing labelling of foodstuffs in SA) are likely to be amended soon. But, cautions Nigel Sunley (left), a leading food industry consultant and part of the Consulting in Food Labelling team, the new parameters will not equate to any significant relaxation of the law.
The much-debated, long-awaited new food labelling regulations (R146) finally
appeared in the Government Gazette in March this year. Despite lengthy,
if not excruciating, public consultation and expert input over 12
years, their final garb still drew much irritation from several unhappy
sectors of the industry, and now several welcome changes have been officially announced.