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Third of Aussie acai berries carry unproven claimsUniversity of Melbourne legal expert Professor Christine Parker, says around 33% of açai berry products on sale in Australia list untested claims about the health benefits of the fruit. The benefits claimed on marketing material include anti-ageing properties, and prevention of serious conditions like cancer and heart disease.
In a paper published today in the Federal Law Review, she says Australian consumers have far less protection from misleading or false food claims than Europeans.
"With obesity and diabetes on the rise, consumers are increasingly anxious to make healthy food choices," Professor Parker said.
"Consumers are at risk of making expensive or unnecessary choices because our regulations fail to cover many health claims, and are inadequately enforced."
Unlike EU regulators, which check all food health claims by manufacturers and retailers, Australia only regulates a list of specific health claims, under the revised Standard 1.2.7 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, which came into force in April.
Any claims not on this list can be "self-substantiated" by industry.
Publication date: 1/6/2017
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