Special Report:

Codeine Medicines No Longer OTC and Will Soon be Prescription Only

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has recently announced that after a lengthy consultation and evaluation process all codeine based medicines will no longer be available over-the-counter and will be need to be acquired on a prescription-only basis, effective from 1st February 2018.   Source:Codeine rescheduled


MEDICINES (Dietary Supplements):

Illegal Drugs Being Sold Openly In Some Australian Grocery Shops

A pill originally marketed as “Indian Viagra” and containing Opium is being openly sold in South Asian grocery stores in Australia. SBS Radio’s Punjabi program uncovered the illegal importation of the pill known as Kamini Vidrawan Ras (Kamini) after listeners raised concerns. The pill, which contains highly addictive substances as well as toxic heavy metals, is being sold as ancient Indian herbal therapy but there’s nothing holistic about it. Independent laboratory testing on products purchased in Melbourne revealed that the pills contain Codeine, Morphine and Papaverine — major components found in Opium.   Source: News.com.auOpium pills

Nurofen Headache Grows to $6 Million

RECKITT Benckiser’s $1.7 million fine for misleading claims about targeted pain relief has been increased to $6 million after an appeal by the consumer watchdog. In December, the Federal Court found that Reckitt Benckiser had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct by claiming its Nurofen Specific Pain products treated a particular type of pain, when this was not the case. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman, Rod Sims said the decision was “very good news”, but reiterated the consumer cop’s view that penalties under consumer law should be brought in line with competition law. “In terms of the current consumer law we’re delighted with this level of penalty, it’s the maximum of $1.1 million per breach”.   Sources: Frank Chung, News.com.au Nurofen penalty ; ACCC report 

TGA Announces Review of Listed Sunscreen Products

The TGA will be initiating compliance reviews for listed sunscreens. The TGA follows a risk management strategy to set priorities and direct resources to reviews that provide the greatest overall benefit for the Australian public. Considering the seasonal significance of sunscreens, our current focus is to ensure that the quality, safety and efficacy of sunscreens are acceptable.   Source: Listed sunscreens

TGA presentation: Better medicine labels - New requirements under TGOs 91 and 92

Jenny Burnett, Scientific Operations Management Section, Scientific Evaluations Branch, Therapeutic Goods Administration, gave this presentation at the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) Pharmaceutical Chemistry Group NSW seminar on 22 November 2016. This presentation discusses the recent changes to medicines labelling in Australia including the history and consultation as well as the changes and features brought in with Therapeutic Goods Order No. 91 and 92.   Source: Medicine label review



ACCC Acts on ‘Oregano’ Misrepresentations

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accepted court enforceable undertakings from ALDI Foods Pty Limited (Aldi) and Monde Nissin (Australia) Pty Ltd trading as Menora Foods (Menora) and resolved concerns with three other suppliers about the composition of their respective products labelled as ‘Oregano’. “By labelling their products as ‘Oregano’, both Aldi and Menora represented to consumers that their products contained only oregano. Test results provided to the ACCC identified the substantial presence of olive leaves in both Aldi and Menora’s oregano products,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said. “Suppliers of food products have an obligation to ensure ingredients of their products are accurately labelled and should be able to substantiate any representations made on the packaging that they approve,” Mr Sims said. The ACCC is continuing its investigation into other traders in relation to products labelled as oregano.   Source: Oregano fail 1

Spencers to Undertake Regular Testing of Oregano

During 2015, Spencers made representations on the front and back of the packaging of its oregano product that the product contained only oregano. These statements included the text ‘Oregano’ on the front of the package. Test results provided to the ACCC indicated the substantial presence of olive leaves in the Spencers’ ‘oregano’ product.   Source: Oregano fail 2

Need Training on Australia’s New Country of Origin Laws?

In order to prepare food companies for mandatory changes to Australia's Country of Origin Labelling Laws, FoodLegal has put together a comprehensive training package consisting of 8 video modules which will answer all your questions about the new laws. The first video is free and can be viewed here.   Source: Charles Fisher, Food Legal CoOL training

Australian Government Releases Latest Failing Food Report

This report details food that was found to fail under the Imported Food Inspection Scheme during the month of October. During this month, six foods were seized and destroyed due to the presence of pathogens (salmonella; listeria), and ten foods were confiscated due to the presence of various toxins or chemical residues. A further three foods were seized for non-compliance and remain on an increased-watch list. The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources targets and monitors food determined to pose a high or medium risk to public health. Risk food is targeted at the rate of 100 per cent until a history of food safety compliance is established.   Source:Food fails

FSANZ Labelling Summary and Update

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand reports that in 2009, Australian and New Zealand food regulation ministers agreed to a comprehensive independent review of food labelling law and policy. An expert panel released their public report on 28 January 2011.The government response to this report was compiled and FSANZ went to work on a number of the recommendations.  Most of this work has now been completed.   Source: Food label review

FSANZ Provides Updated Advice on Imported Food

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand provides advice to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources on whether foods pose a medium to high risk to public health. Check out this list of foods and reports on their potential for contamination.   Source: Imported food

FSANZ Notifications:

Application A1137 – Polysorbate 20 as a Food Additive

The purpose of the Application is to permit the use of polysorbate 20 as an emulsifier.   Source: Polysorbate 20

ApplicationA1134 – Increased Concentration of Plant Sterols in Breakfast Cereals

​The purpose of the Application is to seek approval for the exclusive use for 15 months of an increased concentration of plant sterols to be added to breakfast cereals under the novel food provisions.   Source: Plant sterols

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 ranger of general purpose and special purpose foods.   Source: Lo-cal sweetener

Application A1117 – Extension of Use of L-Cysteine as a Food Additive

The purpose of this Application is to extend the use of the food additive, L-cysteine, to limit enzymatic browning of cut avocado and banana and so extend the shelf life.   Source: L-cysteine

Application A1119 – Addition of Water to Facilitate Wine Fermentation 

The purpose of the Application is to permit the addition of water to dilute high sugar to aid fermentation in the production of wine, sparkling wine and fortified wine.   Source: Water into wine

Application A1128 – Food Derived from Reduced Acrylamide Potential & Browning Potato Line E12

The purpose of the Application is to seek approval for food derived from a genetically modified potato line, E12 which has reduced acrylamide potential and reduced browning (black spot).   Source: Potato blackspot

NSW Food Authority Recall

The New South Wales Food Authority advises that Flush Fitness has recalled Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookie Chocolate Chip due to the presence of an undeclared allergen (milk).   Source: Choc chip biscuits

Civil Group Accuses Anti-Sugar Lobby of ‘Post-Truth Virtue-Signalling’

A New Zealand taxpayers’ lobby group has accused those who are pushing for a tax on sugary drinks tax of “post-truth virtue-signalling”, citing evidence that many of their claims are demonstrably wrong.   Source: RJ Whitehead, Food navigator-Asia Sugar tax


COSMETICS & personal care:

Australian Labelling Requirements for Hazardous Chemicals in the Supply Chain

Chemicals manufactured or imported before 1 January 2017 can continue to be supplied without needing to meet the labelling requirements of the model Work Health and Safety Regulations. Safe Work Australia CEO Michelle Baxter said that Members agreed to this approach on 25 November 2016 in response to concerns raised by chemical suppliers. “This approach will ensure a smooth transition to the globally harmonised system, or GHS, and will avoid an unnecessary burden on suppliers to re-label existing chemical stock,” Ms Baxter explained.   Source:GHS WHS

ACCC Takes Action Over ‘Flushable’ Wipes

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is taking action against Kimberly-Clark and Pental alleging they made false or misleading representations and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to “flushable” wipes. The ACCC alleges consumers were led to believe the products had similar characteristics to toilet paper, would break up or disintegrate in a time frame and manner similar to toilet paper, and were suitable to be flushed down the toilet — when this was not the case. The action follows a complaint by consumer group Choice, which singled out Kimberly-Clark’s Flushable Wipes for Kids for a “Shonky Award” in 2015.   Sources:Unflushable 'flushables' ; ACCC report

Department of Health Consults on Ban on Cosmetic Testing on Animals

During the 2016 Election campaign, the Australian Government committed to introduce a ban on animal testing of cosmetic products. The Government will ensure that the impact to business, trade and industry is taken into account and is minimised in the approach going forward, whilst continuing to maintain Australia’s high standards in protecting public health, worker safety and the environment. The Australian Government is in the initial stages of a phased consultation process to better understand and consider ideas, key issues and views in the development of the policy.   Source: Animal testing ban


Marketing News:

China Infant Formula Uncertainty Claims Another Victim: Murray Goulburn and Mead Johnson Deal Scrapped

Australian dairy co-operative Murray Goulburn and Mead Johnson Nutrition have scrapped an agreement signed in March to supply infant formula to Asia. (This story has particular interest to all food suppliers into China as The Middle Kingdom continues to modernise its food regulations).   Source: Gary Scattergood, Food-Navigator Asia China milk

Tracking the Mobile Millennial Shopper

In this fun and informative single page graphic you can find out all about the 21st Century shopper. Millennials are tech savvy and have never really known life without being online. Millennials know they have options and like to be in control of the shopping and buying process. They want to interact with your brand and expect you to understand them on an individual level, which is key to capturing this group’s epic $170 billion in purchasing power.   Sources: via Direct Selling Australia Millennial shopper profile ; Brand relevance

Consumers Willing to Pay 75% More for Known Ingredients: Survey

Branding ingredients has a mixed record of success but a survey reveals worldwide demand for recognisable ingredients.   Source: Louis Gore-Langton, Food Navigator Branding challenges


Quote for the month:

“If you’re not branding yourself, you can be sure that others are doing it for you”   Anon

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