Woman food shopping at supermarket

ASLM joins public health and consumer organisations in call for food regulatory reform to put the health of Australians and New Zealanders first

The Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine (ASLM) has proudly joined with several public health and consumer organisations in calling for the Australian Government to prioritise the health of Australians and New Zealanders as they consider reforms to redesign our food regulatory system.

The joint statement emphasises that the current review of the system will set the foundation for how food is made, sold and marketed long into the future, and thus public health must be front and centre to ensure the system is equipped to effectively prevent diet-related disease, protect the health of the community, and promote a resilient population to support economic growth.

ASLM President, Dr Sam Manger, comments; “Every day I see the despairing effects of unhealthy ways of eating, people with preventable and treatable chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. But I also see the genuine health and wellbeing that can come of wholesome and real food. I have seen diabetes reverse, depression improve and joy return, all because of good food. But there is no individual separate from the environment in which we all live and it is our systems, such as the food system, which must also take responsibility and change. All of us are preyed on in some manner, insidious or obvious, by the marketing ploys and lobbying actions of certain food industries. Accessible and healthy food is a basic human right. With poor diet being the leading cause of illness and early death globally, accounting for one in every five deaths globally, this reform is desperately needed. If the scientific and medical community desire a more realistic and beneficial impact on the health of the population it is crucial to advocate for reform. Food companies and governments need to put the health of people and our planet ahead of profits. ASLM is proud to support this campaign.”

The aspirations for the food regulatory system drafted recently by the state/territory, Australian and New Zealand governments outline their commitment to protect public health, but the proposed reforms in the draft Regulatory Impact Statement of the Review of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991, fail to enable this.

Click here to read the joint statement.

Signatories: ANZ Food Regulation Joint Statement