Making dramatic changes to the traditional Anzac biscuit recipe or trying to cash in on the commemoration of the Anzacs ahead of Thursday’s annual commemoration could mean jail or huge fines.
The sticky mix of coconut, rolled oats and golden syrup makes the Anzac biscuit a perennial favourite at this time of year – and the Department of Veterans Affairs wants it to stay that way.
“Even within the scope of the traditional Anzac biscuit, there is a high degree of variation within the recipes,” a spokesperson said.
“There are a number of traditional recipes which can be found on the Australian War Memorial website.”
DVA says commercial applications to make Anzac biscuits are normally approved, provided the product generally conforms to the traditional recipe and shape and are referred to as “Anzac biscuits” or “Anzac slice”.
“Referring to these products as ‘Anzac cookies’ is generally not approved, due to the non-Australian overtones,” the department says on its website.
In fact, the word Anzac – or any word resembling it – cannot be used for commercial purposes without permission from the department.
RSL NSW president James Brown said a lot of companies had previously used Anzac to boost sales on or around April 25.
“We’ve had people doing Anzac-related cocktail nights, a plastic surgeon a couple of years ago offered an Anzac special,” he told Seven’s Sunrise on Tuesday.
“That needs to be strictly policed not only by officials but the public as well.
“If you’re going to a pub and they’re advertising on Anzac Day and they are not donating to a veterans’ charity, ask why and choose [to go] somewhere else.”
Serious breaches of the Anzac law can be punished with up to 12 months’ jail.
Fines of up to $10,200 for a person and $51,000 for a company can also be imposed.
“The Department of Veterans’ Affairs controls the use of the word so no one profits off a day that is meant to commemorate the memory of people who sacrificed for this country,” Mr Brown said.