Withdrawn food rating website linked to lobbyist

Late on Tuesday, Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash told the Senate her chief of staff Alastair Furnival remains a shareholder of Australian Public Affairs (APA), a company operated by his wife, Tracey Cain.

The business represents the Australian Beverages Council, Mondelez and Cadbury which opposed a new website providing nutritional information about food.

The website was removed 20 hours after it began operation last week and Labor have questioned Mr Furnival's involvement.

"Prior to working for me Mr Furnival was APA's chairman and because of that previous position he has a shareholding in the company," Senator Nash told the Senate.

But before his parliamentary appointment "arrangements were put in place" to prevent his work history conflicting with his obligations under the Statement of Standards for Ministerial Staff, she added.

Ms Cain subsequently gave undertakings that neither her nor APA would make