Complementary Medicines (“Dietary supplements”):

Therapeutic Goods Amendment (2017 Measures No.1) Bill 2017 Summary of Changes

As reported in February 2018 Newsletter, The Therapeutic Goods Amendment (2017 Measures No. 1) Bill 2017 was passed by both houses of Parliament on 15th February 2018. These are the most significant changes to the legislation affecting complementary medicines in Australia since the Therapeutic Goods Act was introduced in 1989. The Bill establishes a new ‘intermediate’ pathway for complementary medicines, sitting between Aust-Listed and Aust-Registered. As well as this new registration pathway, there are changes to the permitted indications (see following story); improved access to new ingredients (there has been a fivefold growth in TGA approved new ingredients in the last few years!); market exclusivity for new ingredients & better IP Protection; closer alignment with overseas regulators; reforms to advertising; and, axing of the Complaints Resolution Panel. Please feel free to contact RFA Regulatory Affiars for more detailed information.   Source: Legislation passed (Editor’s noteKey dates to note—8 March 2018 - Permitted indications introduced; market exclusivity for new ingredients introduced. 30 June 2019 - Indications change fee $1,000 waiver expires. 5 March 2021 - transition period to relist ALL products with permitted indications. 6 March 2021 - listed medicines not transitioned will be cancelled.)

TGA Details “Assessed Listed Medicines” Pathway

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has implemented a new ‘assessed listed medicines’ pathway for sponsors to enter their products in the Australia Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). Medicines listed through the assessed listed medicines pathway will be included in the ARTG following self-certification of the safety and quality of the product, and TGA pre-market assessment of efficacy evidence supporting the proposed indications. An interactive decision tree has been developed to assist sponsors in determining which pathway is most suitable for their product.   Source: Assessed listed medicines (See alsoPathways for Complementary Medicine Products. This tool will assist potential sponsors of complementary medicines to determine the most suitable pathway to enter their product in the ARTG. CM pathways tool)

Therapeutic Goods (Permissible Ingredients) Determination No. 1 of 2018 Gets Tabled

The Permissible Ingredient Determination No. 1 of 2018 has been registered on the Federal Register of Legislation. The determination provides for a number of changes and additions of ingredients, their names, content limits and required warning statements. The TGA will be providing industry with a minimum 18 months transition period.   Sources: Permissible ingredient legislation; &, LM Guidance doc

Permitted Indications Reform for Listed Medicines

'Indications' are statements that describe the specific therapeutic use for a medicine. They describe a medicine's claimed purpose or health benefit. Indications available for use for listed medicines are now contained in a 'list of permitted indications'. The new permitted indications requirements apply to all complementary medicines and sunscreens. However, medicines that are listed for ‘export only’ and medicine kits are not affected by this change. The four main changes in the new legislation are: There is no 'free-text field'; sponsors who apply to list a new medicine will be required to select the indications for their medicine from the list of permitted indications; there is a 3 year transition period for sponsors of existing listed medicines to re-list their products using permitted indications; and, sponsors can apply to have new indications considered for inclusion in the Permissible Indication Determination. The permitted indications reform came into effect on 6th March 2018. Sources: Permitted indications reform & Legislation

Health Canada Issues Warning About Products Containing Yohimbe

Health Canada had extended a warning on dietary supplement products being sold in Canada with Natural Products Numbers and containing illegal ingredients such as yohimbine and sildenafil analogues.   Source: Hank Schulz, Nutraingredients-USA Yohimbe warning.  Editor’s note: In Australia, the TGA has ruled Yohimbe (an evergreen tree, the bark of which contains yohimbine) is a prescription only substance. Consumers are also advised that yohimbine is a substance included in the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956.

TGA Safety Advisories—

Lida (Plus) capsules: the capsules contain the undeclared substances sibutramine and phenolphthalein.   Source: Lida-plus capsules

Slim Trim Gold capsules: the capsules contain the undeclared substances sibutramine and phenolphthalein.   Source: Slim trim gold

Nutra Organics Green Tea Extract capsules: the capsules contain the undeclared substance sibutramine. Consumers are advised that sibutramine is a prescription-only medicine (which was the active ingredient in Reductil). It was withdrawn in October 2010 after a study showed an increased risk of major cardiac events.   Source: Green tea caps

Arthrem capsules: Arthrem capsules contain the herbal ingredient Artemisia annua extract as the only active ingredient. The New Zealand therapeutic goods regulator, MedSafe, has received 14 reports of liver toxicity associated with the use of Arthrem.   Source: Arthrem

Ja Dera Max+ capsules: The capsules contain the undeclared substance lignocaine, also known as lidocaine. Lignocaine is a prescription-only medicine and is widely used as an anaesthetic and antiarrhythmic drug.     Source: Ja Dera Max


Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Amends Food Surveillance Protocols

This Australian authority has completed a review of the surveillance tests applied to many imported food products. Fresh and frozen meat (to start screening for certain antibiotic residues identified as being of high importance to human medicine.); fruit, vegetables and dried herbs that are minimally processed and are ready to eat (to screen for presence of E. coli and Salmonella). As well, hemp seed and hemp seed products, which have been permitted for sale since 12 November 2017, will now have their own screening protocols. From 24 April 2018 the department will introduce testing to verify that imports are derived from low THC cannabis sativa seed and comply with the permitted levels for total THC and cannabidiol. Hemp seed and hemp seed protein powders/flour referred for inspection will be cleared where total THC is not more than 5 mg/kg, cannabidiol is not more than 75 mg/kg, &, hemp oil has a total THC not more than 10 mg/kg and cannabidiol is not more than 75 mg/kg.    Source: Food surveillance

Australia’s New Country of Origin Information Standard: A Competitive Advantage for New Zealand?

The new Country of Origin (Food Labelling) Information Standard 2016 is mandatory from 1 July 2018. The effect of this Information Standard in combination with the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement could enhance a competitive trade advantage for New Zealand food companies over Australian companies globally. Under New Zealand law, any New Zealand country of origin claims are permitted but are voluntary. New Zealand has never made country of origin labelling mandatory. If a New Zealand company chooses to emphasize the New Zealand origin of its product, this is because of a belief in the marketplace that the claim can attract a price premium. New Zealand companies know that they can trade off the “clean, green” reputation of New Zealand food products without having to meet the technical burdens that are imposed on Australian companies by the CoOL Information Standard applicable to products that are manufactured in Australia.    Source: Lederman & Fisher, Food Legal NZ CoOL    (Editor’s noteThis information is relevant to ‘foods’, but not to ‘complementary medicines’, which although classifed as ‘food supplements’ in some countries, are categorised as medicines in Australia. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is very shortly about to release new guidelines for complementary medicines’ country of origin claims and this will be detailed in our next newsletter. Stay tuned!)

FSANZ Survey of Plasticisers in Australian Foods

Food Standards Australia & New Zealand has released a survey looking at the levels of seven plasticisers which may be used in food packaging materials. The plasticisers were inspected in a broad range of Australian foods. It found that migration of packaging chemicals into Australian foods is very low and presents a negligible risk for Australian consumers.    Source: Plasticisers in food survey

NSW Food Authority RecallsSource: Current recalls

Macro Chinese Honey Soy Flavoured Tofu: Woolworths has recalled Macro Chinese Honey Soy Flavoured Tofu due to the presence of an undeclared allergen (peanut).

Washed Rind Cheeses: Washed Rind Pty Ltd has recalled a variety of cheeses made in France due to potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

Home Ice Cream Coconutters Mango Vanilla: Home Ice Cream Pty Ltd has recalled Home Ice Cream Coconutters Mango Vanilla due to the presence of an undeclared allergen (milk).

The Whole Foodies SEA VEGETABLES Mixed Seaweed: Unique Health Products Pty Ltd has recalled The Whole Foodies SEA VEGETABLES Mixed Seaweed due to high level of Arsenic.

Macro Natural Sunflower Kernels: Woolworths has recalled Macro Natural Sunflower Kernels 500g due to the presence of an undeclared allergen (tree nut - walnut).

Planet Food Organic Hemp Vegan Protein - Rich Chocolate Flavour: Healthy Warrior Pty Ltd has recalled Planet Food Organic Hemp Vegan Protein - Rich Chocolate Flavour due to non compliant labelling (soy free claim made on the front of packaging but soy is included as an ingredient).

FSANZ Food Recall Statistics

FSANZ has collected data on Australian food recalls since 1990, including the causes of all recalls and their domestic or overseas origins. This data can be used to identify trends and common problems occurring in the food industry, so that steps can be taken to prevent future issues. These statistics are updated each year.   Source:  Food recall stats

FSANZ Notifications—

Application A1142 – Addition of Prescribed Method of Analysis for Resistant Starch: The purpose of the Application is to add a method of analysis for dietary fibre and other fibre content for specifically named fibre content of food (resistant starch).    Source: Resistant starch

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: Herbicide tolerant cotton

Application A1151–Beta-Galactosidase from Papiliotrema terrestris as a Processing Aid (Enzyme): The purpose of the Application is to amend Schedule 18 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code to include ß-Galactosidase from Papiliotrema terrestris as a Processing Aid.    Source: Pap enzyme

Proposal P1044 – Plain English Allergen Labelling: FSANZ is working on a proposal to make allergen labelling requirements clearer, which will help food allergen-sensitive consumers and food businesses. The Food Standards Code already contains a mandatory requirement to label 10 allergens; however it does not include requirements for the terminology that should be used. The proposal aims to make allergen labelling clearer so that food allergen-sensitive consumers have the information they need to make informed and safe food choices. The first consultation paper for the proposal was released in February 2018.    Source: Allergen labelling

Cosmetics (& Household cleaning products):

NICNAS Invites Feedback on General Rules, Categorisation Guidelines and Transitional Rules

In Australia, all cosmetics and personal care products are regulated by The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme. As part of the Australian Government's reforms to NICNAS, all relevant stakeholders are invited to submit comment before the reforms are finalised. The new scheme is expected to be implemented by 1st July 2019. Sources: NICNAS reform process; &, NICNAS legislation\


(Editor’s note: This information is relevant to ‘foods’, but not to ‘complementary medicines’, which although classifed as ‘food supplements’ in some countries, are categorised as medicines in Australia. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is very shortly about to release new guidelines for complementary medicines’ counrty of origin claims and this will be detailed in our next newsletter. Stay tuned!)

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