Woolworth’s has announced it will sell beets dyed to make it look like they are green.
The chain has previously said it was exploring the use of dye to make beets to look green.
The Australian Food Standards and Marketing Authority (AFSMA) has now published a statement confirming the chain is looking to introduce green beets into its stores and to the general public.
It said: “As a consumer, we want to make sure we can trust that what we buy is what we’re buying.”
That is why we are currently working with Woolworth, the Australian Food and Drug Administration and Australian Food Service to explore the use, and benefits, of alternative dyes and blends.
“As a result, we have made the announcement that Woolworth will begin offering green beards in the supermarket this year.”
The ABC contacted Woolworth for comment, but received no response.
But Woolworth spokeswoman Anna Bickford said the company was working with the FDA and Australian food service to make the beets look green in its stores.
“We are looking at the use and benefits of alternative natural dyes for our customers and will be making a further announcement in the coming weeks,” she said.
She said Woolworth was “in the process of working with AFSMA to ensure that we are following the advice given by the Australian Government to encourage the adoption of these alternative natural colours for our products”.
But she said Woolies products were “safe and approved for sale”.
Ms Bickfield said Woolys products “are safe and approved” for sale in Australia.
She added the company would continue to work with the authorities and “follow all guidance given to us by the Government”.
The Australian Business Traveller (ABT) said the use by Woolies of dyes that “make the product appear green” would be a violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.ABT spokesman Tim Paine said it would be “a shame for Woolies to use this as a marketing ploy”.
“This is clearly a marketing stunt and this is a blatant attempt to mislead customers,” Mr Paine told the ABC.
“It will be of no use to the consumer if they have to pay for it.”