Lifting The Veil On Animal-Derived Food Product Labeling In Australia
From Label to Liable is the second in-depth report from Voiceless, an Australian animal protection organization. The report has been endorsed by leading animal protection organizations, Animals Australia, Compassion in World Farming and the World Society for Protection of Animals, and is intended to lift the veil on animal-derived food product labeling. It reveals that millions of animals across Australia today are raised in factory farms, in cages of steel and cement, to satisfy the demands of consumers who are mostly unaware of the pain and suffering behind their food choices.[Summary provided by author]
More than 540 million farm animals are raised in Australia each year for food purposes, mostly in factory farming situations. There is growing awareness and momentum of the animal protection movement and demand for free-range, organic, vegetarian, and vegan products is growing.
Consumers are unaware of how animals are raised for food in factory farms, misled by marketing and ambiguous food labels. Consequently, there is a need for greater truth in labeling, in order for consumers to make more informed decisions.
Current Australian law requires disclosure of certain information about animal-derived food products on labels; the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania are the only jurisdictions that expressly require production systems to be identified, and even then the practice is limited to eggs. Mandatory labeling is important in encouraging disclosure. In its absence, some voluntary third-party certification and quality assurance schemes have emerged, which can be inconsistent or imprecise.
Labeling requirements should be limited to a few words defined in legislation and linked to uniform animal protection standards and include enforceable standards which require the labeling of vegetarian or vegan products.