Latest Regulatory Affairs Newsletter

A collection of regulatory news from this month.


New NZ Government Pulls NHP Bill

Regular readers of this newsletter will have noticed the tortuous path of the Natural Health Products bill as it slowly makes its way through the New Zealand Parliament. With a newly elected government now in place all current bills before the house have to be reconsidered. As can be seen from the following link, the NHP Bill is now in abeyance and we await further notice from the new government Health Minister and Health Select Committee.    Source: NZ NHP Bill

Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation Communiqué 24 November 2017

The Forum is chaired by the Australian Government Assistant Minister for Health, Dr David Gillespie and Australian state and territory Ministers, the New Zealand Minister responsible for food safety and the Australian Local Government Association participate. The Forum oversees the collaborative joint Australia and New Zealand food regulation system. The food regulation system is based on scientific evidence and expertise that protects the health and safety of consumers. The rigorous system reflects the many businesses and stakeholders in the food supply chain, providing a firm platform on which our food industries can operate. The Forum reaffirmed its commitment to the three food regulation system priority areas: Reducing foodborne illness; Support public health objectives to reduce overweight and obesity; &, Maintaining a strong, robust and agile food regulation system.    Source: Food regs

New Zealand Steps Up Biosecurity with Increased Penalties for Offenders

The NZ Ministry for Primary Industries is taking a hard line on arriving air passengers who fail to declare items that could bring pests or diseases into New Zealand. So far this year, MPI officers have issued more than 9,100 biosecurity infringements and given 1,135 warnings to air passengers for failing to follow New Zealand's strict biosecurity rules. Last year, officers issued 9,704 fines in total, compared with 6,102 in 2015 and 4,851 in 2014. "The stats show biosecurity fines increased by more than 50% between 2014 and 2016. With the busy summer period yet to start, we are expecting to see another increase this year," says Craig Hughes, MPI Passenger Manager. "The rise is partly due to the increased numbers of visitors, but also to the tough stance we're taking on people that put New Zealand at risk. We're now more likely to issue a fine than give a warning. "Travellers should be aware that failing to declare because you forgot, were tired from travelling, or did not know the rules is not enough to avoid a fine.    Source: NZ food fines

FSANZ Approves Low THC Hemp Seeds for Foods

Food Standards Australia & New Zealand have approved the use of foods for sale derived from hemp seeds. These newly designated food category may be described as ‘hemp’, but not as ‘marijuana’ or ‘cannabis’. THC (Tetra-hydro cannabidiol) must not be present in any food for sale at a level greater than 75 mg/kg.    Source: Low THC foods; & Hemp legislation

ACCC Clarifies Country of Origin Labelling Changes

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission is responsible for consumer laws in Australia. All businesses, whether they are legally required or choose to display country of origin labelling, are prohibited from making false or misleading representations or engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct about the origin of goods (both food and non-food). The Country of Origin Food Labelling Information Standard 2016 (Standard) must be fully implemented by 1 July 2018.    Source: CoOL requirements

Does Mentioning a Healthy Ingredient Constitute a Health Claim or a Nutrition Content Claim?

Claims such as “rich in Vitamin C”, “low in fat”, “contains antioxidants” and “reduces the risk of heart disease” may be made in relation to certain food products. Are these health claims or nutrition content claims? It is important to comply with the prescribed rules in the Food Standards Code before making such claims to avoid breaching the Australian Consumer Law.    Source: Charles Fisher & Jenny Awad, Food Legal Food claims

Targeted Action Dishes Up Food Safety Results

Three Sydney noodle manufacturing businesses have been collectively fined more than $150,000 in relation to various food safety and hygiene failures under the Food Act 2003 and the Food Standards Code following a targeted project by the NSW Food Authority designed to address a high-risk food sector where compliance was less than satisfactory. The "Fresh Noodle Manufacturers Project" was designed to improve standards in the fresh noodle industry after the Food Authority became aware of compliance issues within the sector.    Source: Off noodles

Want to Know Who’s Serving Up Bad Food in Your Suburb?

The NSW Food Authority maintains a very useful ‘Name & Shame’ registry. See if any of your local food outlets have been busted for selling sub-standard foods. You can search by trading name, by suburb, or by date.    Source: Name & shame

NSW Food Authority Recalls—

Vodka Cruiser Sunny Orange Passionfruit Asahi Premium Beverages Pty Ltd has recalled Vodka Cruiser Sunny Orange Passionfruit due to non-compliant labelling (undeclared tartrazine colour 102).    Source: Vodka cruiser sunk

Nudie Brekkie with real berries Monde Nissin Australia has recalled Nudie Brekkie with real berries, real coconut milk & real oats due to the presence of an undeclared allergen (cow’s milk).    Source: Nudie embarrassed

Chai Supreme Dark Chocolate Riebeck Pty Ltd trading as Little Zebra Chocolates has recalled Chai Supreme Dark Chocolate due to the presence of an undeclared allergen (dairy).    Source: Dark on chocolate

FSANZ Notifications—

Application A1147 – Food derived from Herbicide-tolerant Cotton Line GHB811. The purpose of the Application is to seek approval for food derived from cotton line GHB811, genetically modified to provide resistance to isoxaflutole and glyphosate.    Source: GM cotton1

Application A1153 – Endo xylanase from T. reesei as a Processing Aid. The purpose of the AApplication is to include a genetically modified strain of Trichoderma reesei as a permitted source for Endo-1,4 (3) - ß -xylanase (E.C.    Source: GM trichoderma

Application A1154 – Food derived from insect-protected cotton line MON88702. The purpose of the Application is to seek approval for food derived from a genetically-modified insect-protected cotton line, MON88702    Source: GM cotton 2

Proposal P1030 – Composition and labelling of electrolyte drinks. The purpose of this Proposal is to undertake an assessment of the compositional and labelling requirements for electrolyte drinks. to undertake an assessment of the compositional and labelling requirements for electrolyte drinks.    Source: Electrolytes



Correction of an Error on AICS

The National Industrial Chemical Notification Scheme (NICNAS) has corrected a listing error on the Australian Inventory ofChemical Substances (AICS), after an entry that was nominated (without assessment) and listed on AICS in error.    Source: AICS amendment  See also: Recent addition of chemicals to AICS: AICS update


Are you new to the Australian market? Are you unsure about how to comply with recent changes to TGA regulations such as the new TGA Order 92? Do you have a new member of your regulatory or marketing team and would like them to be trained on food classifications and labelling in Australia? Do you want to supply cosmetics but aren’t quite sure what the label is required to look like?

RFA Regulatory Affairs offers Skype training so that you can train at home or from your office at a time that suits, or you and your team can come to our office in Glebe for a group-training session. Our courses cover complementary medicines, cosmetics and food products and a range of topics from labelling to GMP requirements.

All courses are presented in a modular format of either two or three hour’s duration. Training resources are provided and certificates are presented to each participant at the successful conclusion of each module.

You can find more information at RFA Training Courses or email us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to discuss your requirements.


Pharmacovigilance Obligations Training


In September this year, the TGA released guidance on the pharmacovigilance responsibilities of sponsors.  Newly developed, this training course is for sponsors and their nominated pharmacovigilance staff with complementary medicines included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods. We cover TGA pharmacovigilance obligations and mandatory reporting requirements, the what, how and when you MUST report.  All required documents including SOPs and reporting templates will be provided for your future use.

This one hour training course is available via Skype or in person in our office in Glebe, Sydney. You will receive full course notes, document templates, SOPs and a certificate of attendance.  This is all included in the price.

For more information or to schedule a training time, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



The Seismic Shifts in Marketing’s Role in Direct Selling

“Marketing doesn’t matter for a direct selling company.” Have you ever heard this one before? If you’ve been working in direct selling for more than ten years, there’s a good chance you’ve heard someone say this outright, or at least imply it. In fact, that person may have even been you. For example, it was a popular rebuttal to any marketer with a consumer packaged goods background prior to coming on board, as they began their journey in the mysterious waters of direct selling. You’d hear this sentiment when a creative director was asking for packaging that would take away a few extra pennies from the bottom line. You’d even hear it when it felt like corporate was over-stepping their bounds, relying on the field to come up with their own tools, their own campaigns and their own messaging on how to share the products. I always loved the simplicity of that statement, and the loaded implications behind it. Unfortunately, I think there’s a little more to it than that now, though”.    Source: Brett Duncan, World of Direct Selling Direct selling & marketing


Quote for the month:

 “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”.    Zig Ziglar


As per our usual practice, this year we are donating to Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy ( in lieu of sending Christmas cards to clients. Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy uses music to transform lives and bring the benefits of music therapy to those in need. You can also donate RFA Regulatory Affairs is a long-time supporter of Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia.  You can be too!

Nordhoff Robbins


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