Food Standards Australia New Zealand is a statutory authority under the Commonwealth Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991. The Act sets out the functions of FSANZ, including the development of food standards.
Under an inter-Governmental Agreement (1991) between the Commonwealth and states and territories, the states and territories adopt, without variation, food standards once they have been gazetted. Gazettal occurs after FSANZ decisions on standards are considered by the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation.
A Treaty between Australia and New Zealand (the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of New Zealand concerning a Joint Food Standards System) gives effect to New Zealand’s participation in the system and further specifies the role of FSANZ in relation to New Zealand.
Flavouring is a food additive used “to perform the technological purpose of a flavouring in accordance with this Code.” An alphabetical list of approved additives is here; note, not all of these are flavours. Food additives are internationally standardised, so ’1451’ means the same thing everywhere in the world.
A food technologist will add varying but very small amounts of flavourings to their product to create the flavour profile they want.
ANZ standards do not distinguish between artificial and natural flavouring. However, since much packaged food is imported from places like the USA where they do make the distinction, it is not uncommon to see that distinction on the label.
While food standards don’t care, the Australian Consumer Law makes it illegal to engage in misleading or deceptive conduct. So, if the product says ‘natural flavour’ then the flavour needs to have been made from plants or animals and not, for example, petroleum.