Latest Regulatory Affairs Newsletter
A collection of regulatory news from this month.
Special Report: Strawberry Tampering and its Aftermath
This article from Food Legal addresses the February 2019 report by government body Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). FSANZ had been commissioned to examine regulatory deficiencies in relation to the Australian horticultural supply chain and food incident response protocols following a major strawberry tampering incident in 2018. This article examines the lack of progress. Source: Joe Lederman, Food Legal Strawberry tampering
FSANZ Conducts Biennial Stakeholder Survey
Food Standards Australia & New Zealand regulates the supply of foods in these countries and wants to know how you think they are performing in their key role of developing food standards, your understanding of their role and how well they are communicating what they do. Please take a moment and complete the survey which should take about 4 minutes: FSANZ survey
Application A1160 – Aspergillopepsin I from Trichoderma reesei as a processing aid (enzyme): The purpose of this Application is to seek approval to permit the enzyme Aspergillo-pepsin-I from Trichoderma reesei as a processing aid for the production of potable alcohol products and protein processing. Source: Enzyme
Application A1170 – Rebaudioside MD as a Steviol Glycoside from Saccharomyces cerevisiae: The purpose of the Application is to seek approval for a steviol glycoside mixture (Reb MD) for use as an intense sweetener, produced from a genetically modified Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Source: Sweetener
Premium New Zealand Honey Producer Admits Adding Chemicals
A New Zealand company has pleaded guilty to charges of adding artificial chemicals to its premium manuka honey, in a flagship prosecution over a product that is a high-value export for the country. New Zealand Food Safety filed the case against Auckland-based Evergreen Life, whose products were pulled from shelves in 2016 by the Ministry for Primary Industries, which said they might contain "non-approved substances". Evergreen Life and a company manager, Jason Lee, have pleaded guilty to seven representative charges of selling adulterated honey with intent to deceive for material gain and of selling non-compliant honey. Source: Lidia Kelly, SMH NZ honey dope
Cosmetics and TGA Listed Sunscreens
NICNAS Seeks Consultation on 2019 Draft General Rules
The National Industrial Chemicals & Notification Scheme is seeking feedback on proposed changes to the new scheme's draft General Rules. This consultation closes 17 May 2019. Source: Cosmetic consultation (Please note: From 1 July 2020, NICNAS will be replaced by the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS). Whilst the new scheme will begin on 1 July 2020, early regulatory changes are now in effect under the current scheme (NICNAS)).
Complementary Medicines (“Dietary supplements”):
TGA Lists Changes to Permissible Indications for Listed Medicines
The list of permissible indications has been updated by Therapeutic Goods (Permissible Indications) Determination (No. 1) of 2019 [the ‘Second Determination (2019)’]. The changes made are organised into 8 tables of items on the TGA website. Of particular interest to suppliers of listed complementary medicines, the TGA have added a number of new indications to choose from; removed some Traditional Indications; and have re-added or changed some label warning statements. Source: Permissible indications
(Editor’s note: Please see following story for more information and important dates regarding changes to the indications and warnings that must be displayed for listed complementary medicines).
REMINDER: Very Important Information for All Suppliers of Listed Medicines. Don’t Let Your Product Get Cancelled!
Due to the importance of this information we are repeating the story that we placed in last month’s newsletter. Suppliers of listed complementary medicines will already know that they must now only use indications included in the list of pre-approved 'permitted indications' and must comply with any requirements for the use of these indications in listed medicines. The new permitted indications requirements apply to all medicines listed under section 26A of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (the Act). This includes complementary medicines and sunscreens. The key transition dates to note are: 6th September 2019 when the 'fee-free' period for sponsors to transition existing listed products ends. After that date an application fee will apply to all transitioning products in accordance with the TGA's Schedule of fees and charges (currently $820 per product); and 6th March 2021 when any ARTG entries that have not transitioned to Permitted Indications will be automatically cancelled. So please ensure that your product’s indications are compliant before these dates, otherwise you will face significant costs or possible cancellation of your product from the ARTG. Source: Permitted indications
Required Advisory Statements for Medicine Labels (RASML)
Australian labelling requirements for non-prescription medicines require some over-the-counter and complementary medicine labels to contain particular warning statements ('advisory statements') about specific risks related to use of the medicines. These advisory statements are set out in the TGA document 'Required Advisory Statements for Medicine Labels' (RASML). The specification sets out required advisory statements for over-the-counter medicines and registered complementary medicines. As an example, the entry for fennel oil reads: "Fennel oil - Conditions: For the purpose of exclusion from the schedules to the SUSMP (in preparations or oils containing more than 5 per cent of methyl-chavicol); and packed in containers having a nominal capacity of 25 millilitres or less, fitted with a restricted flow insert. Required statement: KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN". Listed complementary medicines are not subject to this specification as they must comply with the different standard, the Permissible Ingredients Determination (see previous stories for more). Source: RASML 5
TGA Looks at Brexit Implications for Supply of Therapeutic Goods in Australia
In examining the possible implications of Brexit for the supply of therapeutic goods in Australia, the TGA has detailed the consequences of different scenarios. In the event of a 'no deal' exit of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU), the TGA will implement transitional arrangements to provide for minimal interruption in the supply of medical devices in Australia. If there is a 'no deal' Brexit, the TGA will continue accepting conformity assessment documents issued by UK notified bodies for existing products while these remain current for the purposes of UK market authorisation. There will be no impact on the supply of medicines to Australia from the UK. If there is a Brexit 'deal' or exit extension, then under the proposed Brexit 'deal', UK notified bodies would continue to be recognised for a transition period through to 31 December 2020, so there will also be no immediate impact on manufacturers certified by these notified bodies. Source: Brexit implications
TGA Provides Application and Submission User Guide for Listed and Assessed Listed Medicines
The TGA Business services (TBS) portal provides an electronic facility for the listing and registration of medicines on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). There are two pathways for listing a medicine in the ARTG: AUST L listed medicines which are listed in the ARTG after self-certification by sponsors that all legislative requirements are met; and AUST L(A) assessed listed medicines which are listed in the ARTG after self-certification of quality and safety of the product and pre-market assessment for efficacy evidence to support the product indications. The Act allows for cancellation of a product from the ARTG if a sponsor's certification is incorrect. Source: User guide
TGA Explores Hosting a 'Drop-In Day' (Sydney) for SMEs
The Therapeutic Goods Administration is seeking expressions of interest for a potential Drop-In Day: an opportunity to meet with TGA representatives one-on-one to discuss the regulatory process with respect to your products and business. Drop-In Day is tentatively open to small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), researchers and start-ups that are new to therapeutic goods regulation, don't often engage with the TGA, are looking to supply a therapeutic good in Australia for the first time and would like advice about preparing their application for market authorisation. It is important to note that advice will not be provided regarding existing applications or already approved products. Appointments will be 50 minutes in duration. There is no cost to attend. Proposed meetings are to be held on Thursday 11th April 2019 in Parramatta, NSW. Source: TGA drop-in day
TGA Safety Advisories— Source: https://www.tga.gov.au/current-year-alerts
Make Coarser Make Bigger capsules: the capsules contain the undeclared substances 2-mercaptobenzothiazole, diclofenac and glibenclamide.
Australia Takes Top Spot From USA for Supplements and Health Foods Imported Into China
Australia now accounts for 22.3% of all supplements and health foods imported into China, taking the top spot from the US, which had a 20.4% share of the market in 2018. Source: (Copyright) Gary Scattergood, Nutra Ingredients-Asia Aussies beat USA into China
Did you know that anyone in Australia who imports a product, will be deemed to be the manufacturer for the purposes of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). Even though the importer has not manufactured the product, this law is in place as a matter of public policy to ensure that importers are not importing poor quality products for consumers without the imported products undergoing the proper checks to ensure the product’s safety. In other words, importers of products will be held to the same manufacturer standards which apply here in Australia. To find out more visit IME Insurance
Quote for the month:
“A year from now you will wish that you started today” Anon.
Important Brisbane Conference
The 14th International Conference on Complementary Medicine Research (ICCMR), ‘Pathways to Partnerships’, is being held in Brisbane, Australia over four days on Tuesday 7th May to Friday 10th May 2019. This event is the pre-eminent annual research event for the field convened by Endeavour College of Natural Health in association with the International Society for Complementary Medicine Research and leading research institutions around Australia. Source: ICCMR 2019
Naturally Good Expo Coming to Sydney in June 2019
Attention to all of our colleagues and customers from outside Australia! This might be just the business opportunity you’ve been waiting for to visit sunny Sydney, Australia. Naturally Good Expo is not open to the public and is ‘trade only’. It’s a total business event that’s 100% devoted to all things healthy, organic and natural. As the largest annual event for healthy retailers, brands and practitioners in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the place where serious buyers meet with suppliers for two days of business, networking, education and to celebrate the latest exciting opportunities within the health and wellness retail market. RFA Regulatory Affairs has enjoyed being an exhibitor at Naturally Good Expo in previous years and once again we will be part of the action, helping to support our industry. Plan your calendar now. This is your chance to not only get a first-hand look at the current state of our industry in Australia but also a wonderful opportunity to meet with colleagues and friends down-under. When you do get here, make sure to call in to our Booth #B43 to chat with us about your latest plans.
Incorrect Health Claims: Ads for Pete Evans's Alkaline Water Land Supplier in Trouble
The Advertising Standards Community Panel received complaints about advertising on Alka Power's website in particular to claims made about the PH of the water and its ability to remedy the medical problem of acidosis. The advertising watchdog has found marketing for Alka Power, which produces branded water for celebrity chef Pete Evans, breached the food and beverages advertising code. Claims that the water deactivates peptides secreted in the stomach called pepsin and increases bone density were found by the Advertising Standards Community Panel to be incorrect. The pH alkaline water is produced through a natural process of infusing spring water with ionic marine-based minerals. It is produced by Alka Power, which was founded by Steve Pettaros in 2012 and employs nine people in Mittagong in New South Wales southern highlands, turning over around $1 million a year. Source: Cara Waters, SMH Alkaline water
NZ MPI Amends Regulations for Importing Foods
The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has issued an amendment to the Food Notice: Importing Food. The notice, dated 28 February 2019, amends Schedule 1 to include Fiji as a country permitted to import the High Regulatory Interest food bovine meat and meat products. (Import of Australian or New Zealand origin beef from Fiji is permitted with the presentation of an official certificate), and Schedule 3 to extend the approved laboratory approval periods out till the 29 February 2020. Contact details for the approved labs were also updated. Source: NZ food regs
FSANZ Releases Food Recall Statistics for 2018
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has released data on Australian food recalls in 2018, including new information on the causes of allergen labelling-related recalls. FSANZ Chief Executive Officer Mark Booth said there were 100 recalls in 2018, up from 69 in 2017, with 46 per cent of these due to undeclared allergens, followed by microbial contamination (20 per cent). “These results demonstrate that food businesses in Australia need to be across the mandatory allergen labelling requirements in the Food Standards Code,” Mr Booth said. “FSANZ has identified four key causes of allergen-related recalls, including lack of skills and knowledge of labelling requirements, supplier verification, packaging errors and accidental cross contamination. Source: 2018 food recall statistics
A1149 – Addition of Steviol Glycosides in Fruit Drinks: The purpose of the Application is to seek approval to … … include the addition of steviol glycosides in Fruit Drinks at a level of 200 mg/kg steviol equivalents. Source: Steviol drink
Application A1162–Triacylglycerol lipase preparation from Trichoderma reesei as a Processing Aid (Enzyme). Source: Glycerol lipase
Application A1165 – Lysophospholipase from Trichoderma reesei as a Processing Aid (Enzyme). Source: Trichoderma enzyme
Application A1167 – Lactase from Bacillus subtilis as a Processing Aid (Enzyme). Source: B. subtilis lactase
Application A1175 – Rapeseed protein as a novel food: The purpose of the Application is to seek approval to permit the use of rapeseed protein as a novel food. Source: Rapeseed protein
China Fights Fake Food: Authorities Vow to 'Bankrupt' Firms Responsible and 'Reward' Whistle Blowers
Chinese authorities are trying to reduce the prevalence of fake food by imposing heavier penalties on manufacturers and sellers until "they are made bankrupt". Authorities have identified a number of key products for heavy monitoring with food, medicine and products for children and the elderly topping the list. Source: (Copyright) Tingmin Koe, Food Navigator-Asia China food crackdown