The Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act (FSANZA) of 1991 and the Philippines Food Safety Act (FSA) of 2013 are enactments that guide food regulatory structures, including policies and regulations on food safety. The desire to create a standard mechanism to oversee public health security in the two countries motivated FSANZA (1991). Food Standards Australia New Zealand, a joint body charged with formulating standard rules to protect Australians and New Zealanders while also promoting cross-border food movement and laws that are compliant with international regulatory tools, was established to achieve this aim (Lang & Heasman, 2015).
On the other hand, the Food Safety Act (2013) is an enactment who primary role is strengthening the food safety regulatory system in the Philippines, with the principal areas of interest being the health of consumers and the market elements (Yean & Das, 2016).
The stakeholders in FSANZA (1991) are the governments of Australia and New Zealand, where respective ministers provide direction to the statutory authority (Mhurchu & Gorton, 2007). On the other hand, the implementation of the FSA (2013) is a shared responsibility where four ministries are working closely with food establishments units. Nevertheless, the Department of the Agriculture and Department of Health are the primary players in the policy, where they determine food quality in the supply chain through monitoring the levels of contamination (Nagothu, 2014).
One area that the FSANZA (1991) holds an upper hand is the existence of a single robust framework to guide regulations that touch on food safety and quality (Chaudhry, Castle, & Watkins, 2017). The monolithic establishment has allowed the two countries apply common standards in the food industry. There are no redundancies, and the application of the enactment does not blur other civil laws.
FSANZA (1991) Shortfalls vs. FSA (2013) Strong Points
Contravening the values of statehood can affect the effectiveness of FSANZA (1991), as the territoriality principle remains the most pronounced concepts in the English law. Unlike the Australian case, the FSA (2013) is a broad-spectrum policy tool that focuses on the food chain from production, transport, processing, storage, retailing, preparation, as well as consumption. Lack of specificity has made the FSA (2013) more efficacious in addressing the myriad of concerns arising in food quality at all stages of food production.
Unlike the Australian context, the FSA (2013) is truly internal, as the enactment engaged has engaged not only the national government establishments and installations but also local government units. Food terminals, catering chains, canteens, public and private markets, water-refilling stations, as well as supermarkets are also stakeholders in the implementation. Food-based organizations are the prime entity tasked with the duty of producing not only safe but also quality food.
While the existence of FSANZA (1991) exemplifies the commitment to address unfair practices in Australia as well as promote the well-being of the public, the applications are not broad enough to allow citizens enjoy the benefits of sound food regulatory system in entirety. The government needs to consider expanding the policy goals to cover even sanitary aspects. The claim is justified by the fact all legal tools need to exhibit completeness in addressing the primary issue.
Like the Philippine context, Australia should also make the food chain the primary pillar. The scope should touch on traditional areas such as food growing as well as re-emerging concerns such labelling and allergenicity. Another critical public health issue is food-handling procedures where the chain from storage to preparation should prevent contamination.
Chaudhry, Q., Castle, L., & Watkins, R. (Eds.). (2017). Nanotechnologies in food (Vol. 42). London: Royal Society of Chemistry.
Lang, T., & Heasman, M. (2015). Food wars: The global battle for mouths, minds and markets. London: Routledge.
Mhurchu, C. N., & Gorton, D. (2007). Nutrition labels and claims in New Zealand and Australia: A review of use and understanding. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 31(2), 105-112.
Nagothu, U. S. (Ed.). (2014). Food security and development: Country case studies. London: Routledge.
Yean, T. S., & Das, S. B. (Eds.). (2016). Moving the AEC beyond 2015: Managing domestic consensus for community-building. Singapore: ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.