Further Information

Page last updated: 20 May 2020

For further information on the development of the Program Reformulation Program and the rationale for food reformulation:

Healthy Food Partnership Reformulation Program: Evidence Informing the Approach, Draft Targets and Modelling Outcomes (PDF 1394 KB)
Healthy Food Partnership Reformulation Program: Evidence Informing the Approach, Draft Targets and Modelling Outcomes (Word 1122 KB)

The draft food reformulation targets and category definitions, supported by the PRP Rationale, were released for public consultation on 16 July – 12 November 2018.

The consultation was publicised on the Department of Health website and Twitter and Facebook accounts, and was listed on the Department’s Consultation Hub. Emails were sent to approximately 400 food companies known to have products in the food categories for which targets are proposed. Communication materials (draft newsletter article, social media posts) were shared with Executive Committee members to disperse through their networks as appropriate.

22 submissions were received in relation to the sodium (only) target categories. 13 submissions were received in relation to the sugars, saturated fats or multiple-nutrient target categories. A further four submissions made comments of a more general nature.

Where consideration of the submissions indicated a change, beyond clarification, to the definition or to the target, a further targeted consultation was conducted relevant to those product categories.

The product categories requiring additional consultation were: soups; corn snacks/popcorn; sweet bakery, gravies and finishing sauces and wet and dry pastries. Feedback from those consultations was then considered by the Reformulation Working Group.

For a summary of the submissions and the Reformulation Working Group consideration:

Summary of submissions and Reformulation Working Group considerations (PDF 927 KB)
Summary of submissions and Reformulation Working Group considerations (Word 254 KB)

The Reformulation Working Group has considered potential risks of a nutrient reformulation program, which were identified by the group and/or raised in the submissions. To ensure the integrity of the process, assessments of identified potential risks of the nutrient reformulation program were conducted by external technical experts and the Department as appropriate.

The risk assessment determined that none of the potential risks preclude sodium or saturated fat reformulation as a population-level health strategy, but noted some should be monitored.

In particular, if partial potassium-based replacement of sodium were to be implemented, it would be advisable to monitor for the increased consumption of potassium which may be a risk for at-risk populations. The Department has commenced work with the Australian Bureau of Statistics to explore ways to monitor this potential risk. Iodine intake from iodised salt should also continue to be monitored, and provisions are already in place for the fortification level to be increased if population intakes are insufficient. Future health surveys and updates to food composition databases will also be considered with a view to tracking changes in the food supply.

For the complete risk assessment report:

Food Reformulation: Risk Report (PDF 599 KB)
Food Reformulation: Risk Report (Word 111 KB)