The Australian and New Zealand food agency (FSANZ) has invited individuals and organisations to comment on an application that it has received to vary its brand new Food Standards Code to permit the sale of formulated beverages - non-alcoholic water-based beverages containing a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
According to FSANZ, the application was made by the Australasian Soft Drink Association to create a harmonised set of regulations for these drinks between Australia and New Zealand.
At present, these beverages can actually be manufactured in New Zealand but not in Australia. However, under the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement, they can be produced in New Zealand and sold in Australia, to the disadvantage of Australian manufacturers.
FSANZ managing director Ian Lindenmayer said the application ( A470) sought permission to add vitamins and minerals to formulated beverages at levels above existing permissions in the Code for most foods.
"We will therefore be looking at the exposure of consumers to these vitamins and minerals from all sources, whether any vulnerable groups within the community would be adversely affected, and the use of formulated beverages in other foods," said Lindenmayer.
"Finally, we want advice on whether FSANZshould treat formulated beverages as a general purpose food or as having a supplemental purpose similar to food-type dietary supplements."
Lindenmayer added that FSANZ was currently reviewing the regulations for food-type dietary supplements.