Laws and regulations for new food technologies

When developing new food technologies your business needs to comply with Queensland and Australian food safety and consumer protection laws.

Food safety

Food safety standards outlined by Food Standards Australia New Zealand and the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council apply to every business involved in the handling of food for sale, or the sale of food, in Australia.

Queensland Health has overall responsibility for food safety in Queensland, including food safety for restaurants and food retailers, and issues with food labelling and food tampering issues.

Safe Food Production Queensland manages the operational aspects of food safety through industry-based food safety schemes for meat, dairy products, seafood and eggs.

Learn more about food and industry regulations and compliance.

Export clearance

To export a new food product, you need to have it accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA). You can search for testing facilities.

NATA accreditation certificates satisfy all Australian Quarantine Inspection Services export requirements.

The Queensland Government has established a microbiological laboratory in Cairns providing food testing facilities accredited by NATA.

Learn more about exporting.

Organic and bio-dynamic certification

To promote your product as organic or bio-dynamic, you need to meet approved certification standards.

Under the National Standard for Organic and Bio-dynamic Produce, food can be promoted as organic or bio-dynamic if it meets the following criteria:

  • 100% organic or bio-dynamic – products using only organic or bio-dynamic ingredients and food production methods
  • organic or bio-dynamic – products with at least 95% of their ingredients derived from organic or bio-dynamic production methods
  • made with organic or bio-dynamic ingredients – with at least 70% of ingredients derived from organic or bio-dynamic production methods.

Products containing less than 70% organic or bio-dynamic ingredients cannot use the term organic on the packaging display panel, but can refer to the ingredients being derived from organic production methods in the list of ingredients.

Apply for certification

To have your food product certified as organic or bio-dynamic and use the official mark or logo, you can apply to an organic certifying organisation approved by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Not all certifying organisations offer bio-dynamic certification, which applies specific standards to soil health, nutrients and agricultural methods.

Genetically modified (GM) foods

The development and sale of GM foods is subject to laws and regulations protecting the health of people and the environment.

Researching GM food

Most GM food research must be licensed by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator, which oversees development and release of GM organisms, including GM food, under the Gene Technology Act 2000 (Cwlth).

The Gene Technology Act (Qld) 2001 mirrors the Commonwealth legislation.

Selling GM food

To sell GM foods in Australia, you must submit your product for a safety evaluation by Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

Queensland GM foods are regulated under Standard 1.5.2 – Food produced using Gene Technology of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

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General enquiries: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)