Health Star Rating system defies common sense
20 July 2020
Citrus Australia is vastly disappointed with Friday’s decision by State Ministers to remove the 5-Star rating for fresh juice with no added sugar under the revised Health Star Ratings system.
The Food Regulation Forum, comprising Ministers from every Australian state and territory, met on Friday and rejected Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud’s proposals to retain the current 5-star rating for juice.
Citrus Australia acknowledges the support of Minister Littleproud, and also the NSW and SA State Ministers who proposed a 4-Star rating, in acknowledgement of juice’s nutritional benefits. Minister Littleproud also supported this proposal, which was unsuccessful.
Fresh juice has held a 5-Star rating since the HSR was implemented in 2014.
Under the revised HSR system as it stands, diet cola would receive 4-stars. 100% fresh juice with no added sugar, preservatives or additions would receive 2 ½ stars.
Citrus Australia CEO Nathan Hancock said the effective demonization of fresh juice – a 100% natural product with no additives or preservatives – defied common sense.
“Under the revised HSR system as it stands, 100% fresh juice would receive less stars than diet cola which contains additives and preservatives and no nutritional benefits,” Mr Hancock said.
“The algorithm that underpins the new HSR assesses fresh juice on sugar content alone and does not consider essential nutrients, such as Vitamin C, Potassium, Folate and magnesium, or antioxidants.
“It also contradicts the Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADG), which places fresh juice in the ‘eat more of’ category. There are allowances in the ADG for the substitution of fruit juice for a whole piece of fruit in the diet.
“Vitamin C contributes to immune defence and one 125 mL glass of fresh orange juice contains half the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C.”
Mr Hancock said Citrus Australia would continue to work with Australian growers to promote the health benefits of fresh juice to consumers and reassure them that the contents within the bottle have not changed, despite the new rating.
“We are genuinely concerned that the suggestion that fresh fruit juice is unhealthy will have a detrimental health effect on the community, particularly in winter.”
For further information, contact Stephen Cooke, Industry Engagement Manager, Citrus Australia, on 0427 124 437 or firstname.lastname@example.org