Submission to the Horizon Scan to Support Strategic Planning for the Australia New Zealand Food Regulatory System for 2023-2026

The George Institute for Global Health is pleased to contribute to the public consultation on the Horizon Scan to Support Strategic Planning for the Australia New Zealand Food Regulatory System for 2023-2026.

The George Institute commends the inclusion of matters of significant concern to public health within the Horizon Scan. We further wish to note our support for the approach the Horizon Scan takes, which recognises the interplay of global mega trends on health outcomes.

We do, however, join our public health and consumer colleagues in raising a number of key concerns regarding the Horizon Scan, both in terms of substance of the document and how it sits within the broader strategic planning and regulatory reform context. Most notably:

  • The processes and intended outcomes of both this specific consultation and broader strategic planning work have not been made clear to all stakeholders, through either direct communications or through the material provided and the Stakeholder Forum.
  • How this consultation and its outcomes relate to other reform work currently underway, such as the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) Act Review and the development of Aspirations for Australia and New Zealand’s Food Regulatory System.
  • The Horizon Scan does not adequately prioritise the significant and increasing burden of diet-related chronic disease in Australia and the root cause of this, being the proliferation of unhealthy food environments.
  • The Horizon Scan does not recognise the role of our food regulatory system in facilitating these trends to date and its great potential to arrest them.

The George Institute welcomes the opportunity to further engage with the Food Regulation Secretariat, Food Regulation Standing Committee and Food Ministers on priorities for the food regulatory system and related issues outlined in our submission. We also would welcome the opportunity to provide further evidence to support our submission on this page.