Sydney, 24 July 2008
Your right to choose' Demand truth in labelling
Act as soon as possibleIt has never been more difficult for consumers to make informed choices when purchasing animal-derived food products. As public awareness of the plight and suffering of the more than 500 million animals in factory farm environments continues to grow, consumers are faced with an abundance of poorly defined terms and product labels that are increasingly difficult to decipher, and are devoid of any information on the farm production methods used.
Without adequate truth in labelling laws and regulations, consumers are not in a position to make informed choices. This should be the right of all Australians.
In an effort to move towards a national labeling system, HSI wrote to The Hon. Tony Burke MP, Minister for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, calling for an urgent review and reform of all legislation relating to the labelling of animal-derived food products, to ensure there is truth in product claims and clarity in product labelling.
This was his response:
Minister Burke' s response clearly demonstrates that this Government is turning its back on the rights of consumers to know what is in the products they are purchasing, and how they are produced. There is simply not enough information in the simplistic approach advocated by Minister Burke to provide consumers with the knowledge to be able to differentiate products on the basis of animal welfare concerns. This will only be possible with clear and adequate product labelling.
Please write to Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig, Minister for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tell him that it is your right to make informed purchases and that current product labelling is grossly inadequate to allow you to do so.
- Urge him to reform all federal, state and territory legislation and regulations applying to food labelling, branding and marketing, to ensure truth in animal-derived food production labelling, and allow you to make informed decisions.
- Stress that at the very least, such reform should ensure that the terms used on product labels are limited and clearly defined, and that these terms are linked to consistent national standards that include national standards for animal welfare.
- Please send us copies of any replies that you may receive.
For further information please contact HSI at email@example.com or (02) 9973 1728