To align with international standards and to protect public health and safety, FSANZ has drafted an amendment to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code to amend the maximum levels (MLs) for diarrhetic shellfish toxins (DST) and paralytic shellfish toxins (PST) with the equivalent MLs set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) and with those set in New Zealand.
MLs for marine biotoxins are necessary in order to protect public health and safety, as marine biotoxins cause serious and sometimes long-term toxicity in humans.
The proposed changes are:
− Lower the ML for DST, expressed as okadaic acid equivalent, from 0.20 to 0.16 mg/kg in bivalve molluscs;
− Define PST in mg saxitoxin dihydrochloride equivalents/kg rather than mg saxitoxin equivalents/kg. The net effect of this change to a more specific reporting unit is to lower the ML for PST from 0.8 to approximately 0.6 mg/kg.
All applications to change the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, must be assessed in the context of the following objectives:
a. the protection of public health and safety;
b. the provision of adequate information relating to food to enable consumers to make informed choices; and
c. the prevention of misleading or deceptive conduct. FSANZ must also have regard to the promotion of consistency between domestic an international foods standards.