Latest Regulatory Affairs Newsletter
A collection of regulatory news from this month.
The Regulatory Rules for Hemp as a Food in Australia
Following a lengthy review process by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), the Australia New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation in March 2017 gave its approval to FSANZ to amend the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code on the use of hemp in food products in Australia. The approval of hemp in food is not directly related to separate approvals by some Australian State and Territory laws for medicinal cannabis. This article explains the regulatory position. Source: Joe Lederman, Food Legal Hemp as food
Interested in Australia’s Food Regulatory System?
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is seeking academics with a strong interest in food-related consumer and public health issues to be appointed to the Consumer and Public Health Dialogue (CPHD). If you are currently working in academia in public health nutrition, consumer behaviour or social science, health policy or a related discipline and have a keen interest in the issues and challenges for the food regulatory system, you might like to follow this link: Food dialogue
NSW Food Authority Food Labelling Website
This website helps you find the information you need to understand what a food label is telling you, to help you manage your food choices. If you are a food business, you’ll find information about what you need to include on a food label. Source: Food labelling
Businesses Urged: Use Your Noodle When It Comes To Food Safety
A Sydney noodle manufacturer has been fined a total of $27,000 and ordered to pay professional costs of $9,000 after he pleaded guilty in the Downing Centre Local Court to thirteen charges relating to failures in hygiene, construction failures and harbouring pests on food premises. Source: Noodles are off
NSW Food Authority Recalls:
Kids yoghurt pouches Parmalat Australia has recalled yoghurt pouches due to a packaging fault resulting in a potential choking hazard. Source: Yoghurt choke
Bean paste A South Korean seasoned garlic and sesame bean paste product (Chung Jung One) is being recalled because of the presence of undeclared peanut. Source: Bean paste
COYO Sea Salted Caramel Coconut Milk Ice Cream Alternative COYO Corporate Pty Ltd has recalled COYO Sea Salted Caramel Coconut Milk Ice Cream Alternatives due to the presence of an undeclared allergen (gluten). Source: Alt-Ice Cream
Application A1149 – Addition of Steviol Glycosides in Fruit Drinks The purpose of the Application is to seek approval to amend Schedule 15 relating to Standard 1.3.1 of the Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code to include the addition of steviol glycosides in Fruit Drinks at a level of 200 mg/kg steviol equivalents. Source: Steviol 1
Application A1127 – Processing Aids for Wine The purpose of this Application is to seek permission for the use of four processing aids, silver chloride, ammonium bisulphite, chitin-glucan and PVI/PVP as processing aids for wine. Source: Wine aids
Proposal A1150 – Glucosylated Steviol Glycosides The purpose of the Application is to permit the use of glucosylated steviol glycosides as an intense sweetener in various foods. Source: Steviol 2
Proposal M1015 – Maximum Residue Limits (2017) The purpose of this proposal is to consider varying certain maximum residue limits (MRLs) for residues of specified agricultural and veterinary chemicals that may occur in food commodities. Source: MRL 2017
Proposal P1046 – L-amino acid acetate in Food for Special Medical Purposes The purpose of this proposal is to remove a negative impact on trade to enable sale of a food for special medical purposes (FSMP) by permitting acetate forms of L-amino acids. Source: Amino acetate
Call for submissions on genetically modified rice application FSANZ has called for submissions on an application to permit a genetically modified rice line that produces a form of provitamin A. Source: Mod rice
Consultation paper on infant formula products for special dietary use FSANZ has released a consultation paper on infant formula products for special dietary use. FSANZ Chief Executive Officer Mr Mark Booth said the paper was the next stage of a proposal looking at revising and clarifying standards relating to infant formula. Source: Infant formula
Consultation paper released on beta-glucan and blood cholesterol health claims FSANZ has released a consultation paper about beta-glucan and blood cholesterol health claims. The consultation paper follows a recent review by FSANZ of the food-health relationships between beta-glucan, oats and barley and blood cholesterol. The review found that a food-health relationship between oats (not barley) and blood cholesterol is substantiated, not the current pre-approved relationship for a high level health claim between beta-glucan and blood cholesterol. Source: Beta-glucans
Editor’s note: Submissions for all three consultations close at 6pm (Canberra time) 14 September 2017.
Complementary Medicines (“Dietary supplements”):
TGA to Change Online Listed Medicine Applications Process
The Therapeutic Goods Administration intends to remove the “free text” indication field which is currently available for online Listed Medicine applications. This field enables you to enter the wording you would like for product claims. The only indications that may be included in TGA product listing applications from 1st January 2018, will be from a database of permitted indications and the wording is specified. There will be a 3 year transition period to re-list products using only the permitted indications. From 1st January 2021, listed medicines will only be able to contain permitted indications. There will be no TGA fee for re-listing with permitted indications if sponsors re-list between 1st January 2018 and 30th June 2019. The AUST L number will remain the same.
What needs to be done now? The TGA proposed permitted indications list is available on the TGA website for comment until 31st October 2017, and sponsors can apply to have new indications included in this list without any TGA fees. After this date, an application fee will apply. If you cannot find the indications for a product that is an existing Listed Medicines on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods on the list we suggest you submit your proposed indications to the TGA during the fee-free period, or RFA Regulatory Affairs can assist with applying for the indications to be included in the permitted indications list. Let us know! Source: RFA Regulatory Affairs – Technical Report
TGA Provides Guidance on Pre-submission Meetings
This guidance is for applicants (sponsors, manufacturers and agents) preparing for pre-submission meetings related to applications to enter therapeutic goods on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG); and for TGA Conformity Assessment Certification (for the manufacture of medical devices). It does not apply to applications for a manufacturing licence or Good Manufacturing Practice certification or clearance. Source: TGA pre-meetings
TGA Provides Guidance on the Regulation of Tampons in Australia
Tampons are therapeutic products which are regulated as 'Other Therapeutic Goods'. Before they can be supplied in Australia, they must be listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). Tampons supplied in Australia must comply with Therapeutic Goods Order No.82 - Standard for Tampons - Menstrual. This aims to ensure that tampons are manufactured in a manner that will minimise recognised risks to health associated with the use of these products. Source: Tampons
TGA Changes Ruling on Vitamin A – Beta Carotene Naming
Did you know that a Listed Medicine label can now refer to the retinol equivalents of betacarotene? They can! The maximum daily dose of 3000 RE/microgram of vitamin A does not apply to this source of vitamin A and the TGA has advised that this is due to the unique action of betacarotene (where it is converted in the body to vitamin A selectively, depending on reserves of vitamin A). In the case of a combination product that contains betacarotene and another source of vitamin A, the dose of the other sources of vitamin A may not exceed 3000 RE/microgram, however the addition of betacarotene does not contribute to this quantity. Currently, in the Permissible ingredients determination 26BB, if vitamin A is declared as an equivalent of betacarotene, then the VITA3 and VIT warnings are required on the product label and the equivalent vitamin A should be expressed in the relevant R.E. units. The TGA have advised that the requirement for the VIT warning will be removed from betacarotene in the October 2017 update to the Permissible Ingredients Determination. As you are not required to declare the vitamin A content of betacarotene, it is also not a requirement to declare its quantity on the label even if it is included on the Australia Register of Therapeutic Goods entry for the product. If you would like your label reviewed or more advice on betacarotene or Vitamin A, get in contact with RFA. This is a significant policy change from the TGA, as previously betacarotene could not be stated in retinol equivalence. Source: RFA Regulatory Affairs – Technical Report
TGA Announces Labelling Changes: Information for Health Professionals
The TGA has introduced improvements to help bring Australian medicine labels up to date and align them with international best practice. They will help Australians to make more informed choices about their medicines and to use them more safely. Source: Label changes
TGA Addresses Issues Related to Supply of Medicinal Cannabis in Australia
The (recent ABC) Lateline story made claims that patients are turning to the black market for medicinal cannabis products because of excessive red tape, principally in seeking approvals under the Special Access Scheme Category B. This scheme has operated for many years and the TGA provides over 20,000 approvals per year for doctors to prescribe a range of unregistered medicines. The TGA claims that the approval system can and does work efficiently to meet the needs of patients so why are prescription levels for medicinal cannabis products relatively low? The Lateline story itself provided the answer. One of the interviewees, Justin Sinclair, stated, 'There is a great paucity of evidence in the literature, at least when it comes to human trials'. Source: Medicinal cannabis Editor’s note: See also related stories from TGA Presentations: Legislation and patient access schemes for medicinal cannabis ; &, Medicinal cannabis cultivation and manufacture update
TGA Safety Advisories
Bittermelon Slimming Capsules; Herbal Max Real Slim Capsules; Majestic African Mango capsules: the capsules contain the undeclared substance sibutramine &/or phenolphthalein.
Germany Black Gorilla tablets; Maxidus capsules; Rhino 9 capsules: the tablets contain the undeclared substance sildenafil.
M Distribution - male herbal supplements: M Distribution, in consultation with the TGA, has initiated a recall of Oh Baby! capsules, JO LMax Extra tablets and RUFF Natural Formula 10,000 mg capsules as they contain tadalafil, dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE or Deanol), &/or sildenafil and dapoxetine.
Source: TGA alerts
Complementary medicines ("Dietary supplements"):
Reforms to the Regulatory Framework for Complementary Medicines
In February 2017 the TGA announced a public consultation, ‘Consultation: Reforms to the regulatory framework for complementary medicines: Assessment pathways’. A total of 60 submissions were received. All submissions that gave permission to be published on the TGA website are now available in PDF format. Source: TGA reforms
Australian regulator the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) says there is broad support for plans to introduce a ‘third level’ of health claims for supplements (complementary medicines). Source: Gary Scattergood+, NutraIngredients TGA 3rd way
Updates to the Permissible Ingredients Determination for Listed Medicines
An updated version of the Therapeutic Goods (Permissible Ingredients) Determination was registered on the Federal Register of Legislation (FRL) in July 2017. The updated determination is titled the Therapeutic Goods (Permissible Ingredients) Determination No. 3 of 2017. A total of 67 changes have been made in the updated Determination. These changes include the addition of 4 new ingredients; Changes to 55 existing ingredient entries; and, the removal of 8 ingredients that have been determined not to be suitable for inclusion in listed medicines. A complete list of changes to ingredient availability is available here: Permissible ingredients
TGA Announces Electronic Signatures to Replace 'Wet Ink' Signatures
All Licences and Certificates of GMP Compliance issued by the TGA will be signed "electronically" and no longer contain a wet ink signature. This initiative will position industry for a future move to online self-service. Source: e-Signatures
TGA Safety Advisories –
Jing Pin Heijin Gang Tablets: the tablets contain the undeclared substances sildenafil and paracetamol Source: Jing tabs
RUFF Natural Formula capsules: the tablets contain the undeclared substances tadalafil, sildenafil and dapoxetine Source: Ruff tabs
This issue of RFA Newsletter is sponsored by IME
a trusted insurance broker for small to medium businesses, with expertise in risk management, professional indemnity, public & product liability, and property cover.
See more details at bottom of this newsletter.
NSW Food Authority Name and Shame Serves Up Nine Years of Food Safety
The NSW Food Authority’s 'Name and Shame' register reaches another important milestone this month, chalking up nine years of operation and more than 11 million views of its webpage. Minister Primary Industries, Niall Blair said more than 7,000 food retail businesses have appeared on the register since its establishment in July 2008. "It’s the list consumers can’t get enough of, but the one no business wants to be on," Mr Blair said. "I am pleased to say the vast majority of food businesses in NSW do the right thing – however those which don’t face the significant sanction of featuring on the well-read register. At its peak in 2009/10, 3.4 per cent of food businesses were placed on the register however that figure has fallen to just 1.6 per cent in the past financial year. Sources: Name & Shame ; Penalty notices
Egg Producer Penalised $750,000 for Misleading 'Free Range' Claims
The Federal Court has ordered Snowdale Holdings Pty Ltd (Snowdale) to pay penalties totalling $750,000 for making false or misleading representations that its eggs were ‘free range’, in proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. “This is the highest penalty that a Court has ordered in relation to misleading ‘free range’ egg claims. It reflects the seriousness of Snowdale’s conduct and the importance of egg producers being truthful about marketing claims they make,” ACCC Commissioner Mick Keogh said. “Consumers pay a higher price for free range eggs, so when a ‘free range’ claim is made, it’s important that consumers are purchasing eggs laid by chickens in free range conditions.” Source: Bad eggs Further reading: This case forms part of the ACCC’s broader work in the area of free range claims made by egg producers, which include: $300k penalty for "free range eggs" 1 ; $300k penalty for "free range eggs" 2 ; $250k penalty for "free range eggs" (In April 2017, Commonwealth, State and Territory Consumer Affairs Ministers introduced a national information standard under the Australian Consumer Law. The standard requires eggs labelled as ‘free range’ to have been laid by hens with meaningful and regular access to the outdoors and with a maximum outdoor stocking density of 10,000 hens).
Sydney Chicken Processor Falls Foul of Food Safety Laws
A Sydney chicken producer was convicted and fined a total of $34,000 and ordered to pay more than $6,000 in professional costs after he pleaded guilty to twelve charges relating to failures in hygiene, maintenance and Food Safety Program monitoring in the Downing Centre Local Court. Source: Poultry fine
Reports that some infant formula products on sale in Australia and New Zealand contain potentially 'dangerous' nanoscale particles have been dismissed by regulators and scientists — with one branding it blatant 'scaremongering'. Source: Gary Scattergood+ NutraIngredients FoE fail ; FoE Claim
A National Approach to Better Combat Biosecurity Threats
The National Biosecurity Committee (NBC) has endorsed new national biosecurity Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) priorities, giving a more unified, strategic and nationally-consistent focus to biosecurity research. Head of biosecurity policy at the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Matthew Koval, said the new priorities would support improved national biosecurity outcomes. Source: Bio-security
Editor’s note: For information about what can and can’t be sent to Australia go to Travelling or sending goods to Australia.
New Zealand's long-awaited Natural Health Products Bill is unlikely to be put before parliament before September's election, according to the Ministry of Health. Source: Gary Scattergood+, NutraIngredients NZ NHP Bill
FSANZ Notices –
Application A1123 – Isomalto-oligosaccharide as a Novel Food: The purpose of the Application is to permit isomalto-oligosaccharide as a novel food for use as an alternative (lower calorie) sweetener and bulk filler in a range of general purpose and special purpose foods Source: Novel food
A1131 – Aqualysin 1 (Protease) as a Processing Aid (Enzyme): The purpose of the Application is to permit the use of aqualysin 1 sourced from Bacillus subtilis containing the aqualysin 1 gene from Thermus aquaticus for use as a processing aid in the manufacture of bakery products. Source: Aqualysin 1