Australian consultation on targets: The George Institute response

The Australian Government has recently developed 36 draft voluntary food reformulation targets for sodium, sugar and saturated fat, and released them for public consultation.

The George Institute for Global Health strongly supports nutrient reformulation as a public health measure to improve diets and population health and welcomed the opportunity to comment on the proposed targets. The George Institute submitted a technical response to the consultation, whereby the feasibility and appropriateness of the draft targets were assessed by undertaking the same approach to target setting with their own food supply dataset.

Relating to the draft targets, The George Institute agreed that 14 out of 30 proposed sodium targets, 1 out of 5 proposed saturated fat targets, and 1 out of 7 proposed sugar targets were feasible, reasonable and appropriate. Targets for the remaining 26 categories were deemed too conservative and The George Institute proposed new, lower set targets.

Based on comparison to the UK salt and sugar targets, Australian targets could be set for at least 35 further product categories for salt and 10 further categories for sugar.