| 07.01,12. 02:01 AM |
Fake Aussie biscuits banned
January 07, 2012
THE competition watchdog has banned imported biscuits which use logos featuring a koala, gum leaves and an Australian flag to disguise their Indian origin.
Ozdownunder Super Sandwich Cream Cookies has halted the imports at the request of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Independent Senator Nick Xenophon complained about the product to the ACCC because the words "Product of India" were hidden under a plastic flap on the packet.
Senator Xenophon has been campaigning for truth in labelling, since he discovered that imported orange juice could be packaged in Australian cardboard and labelled "Made In Australia from local and imported ingredients''.
The Federal Government last month rejected the findings of a review which recommended truth "in country of labelling" but Senator Xenophon plans to introduce a private member's Bill to overhaul the laws.
"This case highlights the urgent need for better Country of Origin labelling laws," Senator Xenophon said.
"I welcome the ACCC's actions to stop the misleading labelling by Ozdownunder, but the ACCC should have prosecuted this company to send a strong message to others doing the same thing.
"Every time foreign goods are passed off as Australian products, it costs Australian jobs."
The problem was highlighted to Senator Xenophon by former Burnside Councillor Jim Jacobsen who bought the biscuits and took them home before realising the problem.
Under the Australian consumer law, the use of Australian logos is not prohibited, but they cannot ``convey or contains a false, misleading or deceptive representation".
The Melbourne company, which is Australian owned, could not be contacted yesterday, but the ACCC confirmed in a letter to Senator Xenophon that Ozdownunder had agreed to:
PUT prominent made in India material on existing stock.
INSIST The manufacture reprint packaging before importation resumes.
"The ACCC shared your view that the logo used on the packaging of the cookies could mislead consumers into believing that the cookies are a product of Australia," the letter states.