Push to tighten food labelling laws grows

HINKLER MP Keith Pitt has publicly joined a growing push in Canberra to tighten country-of-origin food labelling laws.

In a speech to parliament on Tuesday, Mr Pitt urged action on the issue, which has been highlighted by an outbreak of hepatitis A linked to imported frozen berries last week.

The outbreak led to a few brands of Nanna's frozen berries being removed from supermarket shelves.

It has been confirmed 18 people had contracted hepatitis A after eating the berries.

Mr Pitt told parliament that despite "countless inquiries and reports over the years", the recommendations were "to no avail".

"Today we find ourselves in a situation where 18 Australians have contracted hepatitis A from frozen berries sourced from overseas," he said.

And despite "widespread debate" about Australia's import screening systems, Mr Pitt said he believed the solution was simple.

"Give Australians the choice. Clear labelling will ensure they are informed about what it is they are buying and feeding their families," he said.

Mr Pitt said labelling products "made from local and imported ingredients" did not cut it, urging labels should say "proudly Australian grown product of Australia".

His comments are part of a wider Nationals push, backed by Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, for improved labelling laws.

- APN Newsdesk