You Could Cop A Legit $50k Fine For Trying To Fuck With Anzac Biscuits

There aren’t too many things more head-scratchingly hilarious than a truly ridiculous and archaic law that’s somehow still in effect, and of that ilk we present the following: The fact that, in Australia, you can be slapped with a very legitimate and ball-achingly huge fine if you wilfully and maliciously fuck up the baking and packaging of Anzac Biscuits. Incredible as it may seem, it’s a real thing.

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With Anzac Day 2019 on Thursday, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs has issued a reminder to all Australians that it is actually very illegal – an offence under the Crimes Act 1914, no less – to alter, vary, re-interpret, or mislabel the traditional Anzac Biscuit, with enforceable fines totalling tens of thousands of dollars on the line for anyone who goes off-book.

The laws are in place, largely, to prevent businesses and individuals from commercialising and profiting off the Anzac name. For a baked good to be legally considered an Anzac, it must adhere to traditional recipes and ingredients of oats, flour, sugar, golden syrup, water, and bicarb. Or any approximate combination. If a person or a company adds in things like chocolate chips or even almonds, it can’t be legally sold as an Anzac Biscuit.

More to that, the name “Anzac Biscuit” is virtually sacrosanct. The label “Anzac Cookie” is deemed unacceptable under the laws, and colloquialisms are also frowned upon. Messina ran into trouble in 2017 for promoting a special gelato named “Anzac Bikkie.” The “Bikkie” part was deemed a bridge too far and they were forced to change.

Additionally, if you’re keen on selling Anzac Biscuits to the public, you must obtain a permit from Veterans’ Affairs in order to use the Anzac name.

Here’s the real kicker: The fines for fucking any of this up royally are bloody hefty. Individuals can be slapped with penalties totalling $10,200, while businesses face a sting of up to $51,000. Which is a fair chunk of change for a handful of seasonal biscuits, no matter what way you look at it.

So there’s a lesson for you this Anzac Day: Don’t try and fix what’s legally not broken. Also, respect the troops or whatever.