Latest Regulatory Affairs Newsletter

A collection of regulatory news from this month.

Review of the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has received $2.5 million from the federal government to review the guidelines. The first step will be a scan of the latest nutrition science research and evidence.    Source: NHMRC.


Advertising of “toddler milk”

The Victorian Health Department is calling for an end to aggressive marketing of toddler milk formulas, as new research reveals some products are up to four times more expensive than regular milk, but with more sugar and fewer key nutrients. Also, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) proposes to re-authorise a longstanding agreement by manufacturers to not promote infant formula, to protect rates of breastfeeding. There is concern the industry is trying to “work around” the restriction on infant formula advertising by promoting “toddler milk”.    Source: VicHealth and ACCC


New Zealand man fined for biosecurity breaches

An Auckland businessman Sanjive Ramavtar Kapoor from Divine Logistics was sentenced after pleading guilty to three charges which included unauthorised opening of shipping containers and falsifying documents. Mr Kapoor redirected containers from Approved Transitional Facilities 22 times between 21 June 2018 and 31 January 2019. Mr Kapoor admitted to opening and unpacking 12 of these containers. He was fined NZ$30,000.    Source: New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries.


Declaration of allergens on food labels – changes

There is a move to plain English labelling. There are some new allergens, “nuts” or “tree nuts” must now contain the names of these nuts, specific cereals must be listed by name rather than grouped together as “cereals” – and many other changes .Summary of work to date can be found here, here, and here.    Source: FSANZ. Relevant legislation is here.


Failing food report for January 2021

This report lists food that has failed under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme (IFIS) during January 2021. Table 1 shows results of tests on rick foods. Salmonella, E. coli, aflatoxin and histamine levels remain a problem. Table 2 lists other surveillance issues, including non-permitted additives.    Source: Dept Agriculture.


Approvals and amendments to the Food Standards Code

A1204 – Beta-amylase from soybean (Glycine max) as a processing aid (enzyme)

P1051 – Code Revision (2020)

A1555 – 2’-FL and LNnT in infant formula and other products

A1175 – Rapeseed protein isolate as a novel food

A1180 – Natural Glycolipids as a preservative in non-alcoholic beverages

A1186 – Soy Leghaemoglobin in analogue meat

Source: FSANZ


Food recalls

FSANZ has published a summary of food recalls over the last 10 years. The main reasons for recalls were microbial contamination, labelling, foreign matter, chemical/other contaminants, undeclared allergen, biotoxin and “other”. During 2020, there were 33 recalls due to undeclared allergens.    FSANZ Sources: recalls due to allergens, current food recalls.


Facts sheet on GM Foods

How they are made, labelling, and what types of GM foods are sold in Australia and New Zealand.    Source: FSANZ

Artemisia annua and Artemisia absinthium updated product recalls

A further 8 products have been cancelled and recalled. It seems there is an unacceptable risk if these products are used during pregnancy, and the cancelled products did not include the mandatory label warning statement about pregnancy.    Source: TGA News


Updated guide to medicine labelling requirements

This is an updated guide to the two labelling orders Therapeutic Goods Order No. 91 - Standard for labels of prescription and related medicines (TGO 91); and Therapeutic Goods Order No. 92 - Standard for labels of non-prescription medicines (TGO 92) (including complementary medicines).    Source: TGA guidance document


Industry Forum on Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)

TGA has announced the third GMP forum, which will be held over three half days on Wednesday, 12 May - Friday, 14 May 2021. This will be a virtual event and it will be free to attend. TGA states “This Forum will be of interest to industry personnel involved in the quality assurance, regulation, risk assessment and good manufacturing practice of medicines and biological products.”    Source: TGA news


Changes to ingredients permitted in listed medicines

This is a summary of the changes to 169 ingredients.    Source: TGA news


TGA compliance activity

CW IP Pty Ltd fined $53,280 for alleged advertising breaches on the Chemist Warehouse and My Chemist websites. They allegedly advertised Fatblaster Clinical capsules, a therapeutic good, on four pages of its Chemist Warehouse and My Chemist websites. At the time of advertising, Fatblaster Clinical capsules were not entered in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods. The TGA cancelled Fatblaster Clinical capsules from the ARTG on 20 December 2019.    Source: TGA news


Newcastle-based retailer Junction Rx trading as My Community Pharmacy (Junction Rx) has been issued an infringement notice for $13,320 for alleged advertising of an unlisted complementary medicine after they failed to comply with a cease and desist notice by the set deadline. They advertised a therapeutic good called ‘FatBlaster Apple Cider Vinegar and Garcinia Max' which is not included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.    Source: TGA news


Epharmacy Group fined $26,640 for alleged unlawful advertising on the ePharmacy website. The fines were issued for the alleged unlawful advertising of Fatblaster Clinical, a complementary medicine cancelled from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.    Source: TGA News


Bulk Buys fined $13,320 for alleged unlawful importation of surgical face masks. TGA claims they breached a condition of the Therapeutic Goods (Medical Devices - Face Masks and Other Articles) (COVID-19 Emergency) Exemption 2020 by importing surgical face masks that were not included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) and were not being imported for supply to the National Medical Stockpile.    Source: TGA news


Medicine packaging definitions

A useful guide to understanding packaging terms which do not always align between different regulations. What is the difference between “primary packaging” and “primary pack”? What is “tertiary packaging”?    Source: TGA


New standard for serialisation and data matrix codes on medicines

1st January 2023 is the commencement date for the new Therapeutic Goods (Medicines - Standard for Serialisation and Data Matrix Codes) (TGO 106) Order 2021. This order does not make the use of data matrix codes or serialisation of medicines mandatory, but sets out requirements if medicine sponsors choose to do either of these. Medicines must comply with TGO 106 by 1st January 2023 if they are serialised, or include a dot matrix code that encodes the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN).    Sources: TGA news, and Federal Register of Legislation


Medical devices – essential principles checklist

Available in either word or pdf format – this 28 page checklist will be very helpful for sponsors of medical devices. It is the manufacturer's responsibility to demonstrate compliance with the essential principles for their medical devices.    Source: TGA news


Standard for unapproved vaporiser nicotine products

TGA is proposing a standard and proposed safety and quality requirements. This is a copy of an online presentation.    Source: TGA news


Post-market review of face masks

The TGA is continuing its review of face masks and this page summarises the findings. The TGA states some … “are not performing as intended, i.e. as claimed by the manufacturer. Some masks may pose a risk to public health and safety when used in healthcare settings or industrial / commercial settings where protection from contaminated fluids and airborne particulates is required”. Some products require no action, some have been cancelled, others need corrective action.    Source: TGA face mask review


Medical cannabis

Summary of a recent online presentation on medicinal cannabis advertising compliance has been published. TGA presented along with professional experts. Find it here.

New Zealand guards against imported agricultural pests

New Zealand continues to be vigilant with imported foods that may damage their agricultural industry:

Bus driver fined NZ$4,500 for smuggling seeds and cigarettes

Auckland woman sentenced to intensive supervision for 12 months and 100 hours' community work for smuggling succulents and endangered cacti into New Zealand

And brown marmorated stink bugs continue to be a problem in both New Zealand and Australia. (Editor’s note: they are a pest on my two citrus shrubs and yes they do stink)


Maximum residue limits

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) today released its annual call for comment on proposed changes to Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for some agricultural and veterinary chemicals in food.


FSANZ Notifications and amendments

New applications: Application A1222 – Steviol glycosides from Yarrowia lipolytca:

Approval and notifications:

A1191 – Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids (471) as a surface coating

A1202 – Food derived from insect-resistant and herbicide-tolerant corn line DP23211

Source: FSANZ media centre

Kimberley-Clark fined $200,000 for misleading country of origin statement

The website claimed the products were made in Australia.    Source: ACCC


AICIS news

Correction of chemical names – updated to terminology.     Source: AICIS


New Industrial chemicals – guide to preparing report

Guide to completing the most common type of pre-introduction report (PIR) – ‘highest indicative risk is low risk’.    Source: AICIS

Permitted Indications – Reminder – one week left! – If you don’t act NOW your products will be cancelled!

The deadline for all listed medicines to transition to only including permitted indications for their products is 5th March 2021. Any products that are non-compliant after this period will be cancelled. The very minimum you need to do is access your TGA product record, delete any free text indications, and ensure the only ones remaining are those on the list of permitted indications. Don’t forget - it is a legal requirement for sponsors of listed medicines to hold evidence to support the indications for use.


Permitted ingredients

A new list of ingredients permitted in listed medicines has just been released.    Source: Federal Register of Legislation.


AUST L(A) complementary medicines (Assessed listed medicines)

Parliament has passed a bill to provide clinical data protection for a period of 5 years.


Artemisia annua and Artemisia absinthium product recalls

TGA has announced that four products have been recalled due to the presence of high levels of artemisinin in Artemisia annua and Artemisia absinthium. The concern is an unacceptable risk if used during pregnancy.    Source: TGA news


Illegal adulterated herbal products continue to be a problem

Products are regularly seized at the border, the latest is Resurrection Male Sexual Enhancement Capsules.    Source: TGA news


New Zealand’s outdated dietary supplement regulations extended but to be replaced

A bill has passed through New Zealand parliament to allow an extension of the old Dietary Supplement Regulations, but there is widespread support for the development of more modern and relevant legislation to replace it.    Source: Nutra Ingredients


Poisons schedule

The February 2021 update includes changes to boron and cannabidiol. Interim decisions are published for amygdalin and hydrocyanic acid, bilastine, psilocybin, magnesiun hydroxide, and other compounds.


Ex federal government senator directed to remove claims about COVID

David Leyonhjelm was advertising products containing ivermectin as a treatment for COVID.    Source: TGA news.


Bajaria Global fined $26,640 for alleged unlawful importation of therapeutic goods containing betel nut

The products “Pan Masala” contained betel nut (the seed of the Areca palm Areca catechu) which is a prescription only medicine. The products were not included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). TGA states “The Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology published a review of the systemic adverse effects of betel nut. The journal article indicates betel nut is an addictive substance associated with a range of harmful health effects, including mouth and throat cancer. Consuming betel nut while pregnant may also be harmful to the unborn baby.”    Source: TGA news


Haimex International fined $53,280 for alleged unlawful importation of medical devices

Products included infrared thermometers, rigid strapping tapes and iodine prep pads. None of the products were included on the ARTG.    Source: TGA news


Federal court finds Evolution Supplements guilty of breaching advertising laws

We reported on the first story in our March 2020 newsletter. However, the director of Evolution Supplements, Mr Cumhur Keskin, failed to comply with previous directions about advertising of Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs), and other products, when no SARM has been approved for human use. The use of SARMS has been linked to liver failure and increased risk of heart attack and stroke.    Source: TGA news.


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