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Issue 139

February 2015

This issue of RFA Newsletter is sponsored by Trans Chem Pty Ltd 


Australia’s leading importer and distributor of pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, stockfeed and veterinary raw materials.

ANNOUNCEMENT: TGA approved Setria® Glutathione is now exclusively available from Trans Chem Pty Ltd.

 *Setria® Glutathione story appears at foot of this newsletter:

Latest News

This news is posted on our website on a regular basis. Visit us often to keep informed.www.robert-forbes.com


Federal Court to Rule on Alleged Sham Contracting in the Australian MLM Industry 

The legal standing of “independent contractors” in the multi-level marketing (MLM) industry in Australia will be examined by the Federal Court in a sham contracting case bought by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) against Ecosway Pty Ltd (Ecosway), the Australian subsidiary of a multi-national MLM business.

Source: (Russell Kennedy, Lawyers) http://tinyurl.com/kv63zx8


FSANZ Notification– Rebaudioside M as a Steviol Glycoside Intense Sweetener 

The purpose of the Application is to include rebaudioside M in the list of permitted steviol glycoside products used as intense sweeteners.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/p7dvmos


Chinese Buy Our Berries, Reject Their Own As Hep A Scare Sparks Fair-Dinkum Labels Push 

Chinese berries have such a bad reputation that even the locals don’t want to eat them. Australian blueberry growers are being inundated by potential Chinese buyers keen to purchase their produce and avoid their local fruit, which could be tainted by contaminated water.

Source: (Samantha Townsend, daily Telegraph) http://tinyurl.com/omqfftj


NSW Food Authority Issues Food Alert and Recalls Frozen Berries 

Patties Foods Ltd has recalled its Nanna's Mixed Berries, sold nationally in Coles, Woolworths & IGA supermarkets and independent stores. The reason for the recall is because of contamination with Hepatitis A. Hepatitis A virus can cause inflammation or swelling of the liver. Symptoms include feeling unwell, aches & pains, fever, nausea, lack of appetite, abdominal discomfort, followed by dark urine, pale stools and jaundice (yellowing of the eyeballs & skin). Symptoms usually appear 4 weeks after infection, but onset can range from 2 to 7 weeks.   Sourcehttp://tinyurl.com/kn9hclg

Patties Foods Ltd has also recalled its Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries, sold nationally in Coles, Woolworths & IGA supermarkets and independent stores. This is a precautionary extension of the recall of Nanna's Mixed Berries, due to potential contamination with Hepatitis A.  Source: http://tinyurl.com/mbth6yw

Patties Foods Ltd has extended its recall of Nanna's products, and now includes its Nanna's Rasberries, sold nationally in Coles, Woolworths & IGA supermarkets and independent stores.  Source: http://tinyurl.com/oq9vtyu

NSW Minister for Primary Industries, issues statement: http://tinyurl.com/mf2sy3f  & Dept. Agriculture Security intervention: http://tinyurl.com/lsnzb5c


Kickstarter Supports Sustainable Herbs Project 

The Sustainable Herbs Project is a new project by the producers of the award winning documentary, ‘Numen: the Nature of Plants’, the first feature length film on the healing power of plants. They are creating an interactive documentary following medicinal plants through the supply chain to provide the information needed about the herbal remedies. They want this interactive multi-media website to be available for free and so they have launched this Kickstarter Campaign to cover costs up front.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/mlcv5bg


New Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code Version Gets Go-ahead From Ministers 

In drafting the revision, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has stated the key goal of the revision had been to make the Food Standards Code interact “more effectively” with State, Territory and Federal food legislation (including enforcement against infringement of the Food Standards Code as a criminal offence under the Food Act of each Australian jurisdiction). There will be significant effects from the introduction of the new Food Standards Code such as the changes to permitted food additives, processing aids and nutritive substances added to various foods. All jurisdictions prohibit the addition of substances to food products unless they have been expressly permitted in the Food Standards Code. The changes will therefore be significant for anyone involved in product development or food processing production.

Source: (Joe Lederman, Food Legal) http://tinyurl.com/mfd2kug


Peter Gotzsche, Founder of The Cochrane Collaboration, Talks About Dangers Of Prescription Drugs 

According to Professor Gotzsche, many of our most commonly used drugs, from painkillers to antidepressants, are dangerous and are killing us off in large numbers. Professor Gotzsche estimates that 100,000 people in the United States alone die each year from the side-effects of correctly used drugs. Similar figures are not available in Australia, although the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that 3000 people died after complications with medical and surgical care in 2012.

Source: (Amy Corderoy, SMH) http://tinyurl.com/o4vmvgm


Krill Oil Marketing: A Case Study of Australia’s Broken Regulations 

Two out of three Australians regularly use complementary medicines, which constitute a A$3.5 billion domestic market. But the industry’s marketing strategies are a source of ongoing controversy and pose a significant challenge for regulators. Products containing krill oil provide a good example of the kinds of extravagant claims made by supplement manufacturers. Numerous reports over the last decade have recommended that the lack of effective penalties for offending companies be redressed. But it seems unlikely any changes will be implemented any time soon as both the industry and government support a deregulation agenda.

Source: (Dr. Ken Harvey et al, The Conversation) http://tinyurl.com/maqaumu


Department of Health Releases Latest Food Inspection Data Report 

This report provides summary data from imported food inspections for the period 1 January to 30 June 2014. Contains interesting info regarding reduced testing for foods imported from NZ which could help suppliers who want to import NZ Supplemented Foods even though they may not be actually manufactured in NZ. “Australian Food Statistics indicates that most imported food is sourced from New Zealand. However, under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement, most food from New Zealand is not subject to inspection at the border under the IFIS. Some of the foods classified as 'risk food' are subject to inspection. Therefore, the inspection activity on food from New Zealand is low compared to actual imports from New Zealand”.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/kzx8z2k


ABC Responds to NY Attorney General’s Fraudulent Supplements Charge 

The American Botanical Council (ABC) Botanical Adulterants Program’s Stefan Gafner, PhD, and ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal sent the following statement to Mr. O’Connor, which was not included in the Times’ articles that appeared online and on the front page of the New York Times this morning: “The AG’s study is not based on adequate science and its actions are thus premature. The use of DNA barcoding technology for testing of the identity of botanical dietary supplements is a useful but limited technology. DNA testing seldom is able to properly identify chemically complex herbal extracts as little or no DNA is extracted in many commercial extraction processes”

Sources: http://tinyurl.com/lsxg5c4 & http://tinyurl.com/lrh9rkt

Related response from American Herbal Pharmacopoeia: http://tinyurl.com/mguxbng  &  Related response from Council for Responsible Nutrition: http://www.crnusa.org/NYAG/


New York Attorney General Targets Supplements at Major Retailers 

The New York State Attorney General’s office accused four major retailers of selling fraudulent and potentially dangerous herbal supplements and demanded that they remove the products from their shelves. The authorities said they had conducted tests on top-selling store brands of herbal supplements at four national retailers — GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart — and found that four out of five of the products did not contain any of the herbs on their labels. The tests showed that pills labelled medicinal herbs often contained little more than cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus and houseplants, and in some cases substances that could be dangerous to those with allergies.

Source: (Anahad O’Connor, NYT) http://tinyurl.com/khls4o4


Department of Health Issues Guidelines for Food Health, Related Claims – “Getting Your Claims Right” 

A guide to complying with the nutrition, health and related claims standard of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/pfzgstj


International Profiles of Health Care Systems (in 15 Countries), 2014 

This publication presents overviews of the health care systems of Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/q3ye79q


FDA Reports Success in Expediting Approval Process for Medical Devices 

The FDA's Center for Devices & Radiological Health reports significant progress in expediting the U.S. regulatory approval process for medical devices.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/puofjfm


How Ignoring Science Damns Our Economy 

Four of the nation's most-renowned scientists have spoken to The Australian Financial Review about their concerns for Australian science and our ability to compete as an innovation economy. Australia's science establishment is polite even when bitter and angry at the cuts of more than half a billion dollars to the country's vibrant scientific institutions, such as the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Australian Research Council.

Source: (Anne Hyland, AFR)http://tinyurl.com/m32n2cm


Firm Gets Warning Letter for Straddling Beverage / Liquid Supplement Divide 

A recent FDA warning letter to a New York company points again to the danger of mixing metaphors when positioning a product as either a beverage or a liquid dietary supplement.

Source: (Hank Schulz, Nutra Ingredients) http://tinyurl.com/k644fw5


Unilever (Australia) Says it Will Ban Face Scrub Product Containing Microplastics 

A global consumer company says in two months it will start phasing out a facial scrub ingredient polluting Sydney Harbour. The push back against tiny microscopic plastic beads used in scrubs and exfoliants, along with other plastic fragments is to be stepped up, with scientists about to start examining if they are accumulating in fish regularly consumed by humans.

Source: (Tim Barlass, SMH) http://tinyurl.com/o7u3d27 ; 

                   Related story: http://tinyurl.com/lf35ntm


How an Alleged Diet Scam Was Born: The Rise and Fall of Green Coffee Bean 

Recently, it was revealed that the “naturopath” that Dr. Oz originally featured in his Green Coffee Bean Extract (GCBE) segment, Lindsey Duncan, didn’t disclose a direct conflict of interest when he spoke. After inaccurately describing the supplement’s effectiveness, he directed consumers, using keywords, to web sites that he owned or operated. It has also been announced that Duncan and his companies have been fined $9 million by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).



Researchers "Astounded” by Results of Probiotic Peanut Allergy Study 

A probiotic could hold the key to treating peanut allergies in children, researchers in Melbourne have found.  

Source: (RJ Whitehead, Nutra Ingredients) http://tinyurl.com/mshkguh


TGA Safety Advisory 2. – Dr. Ming’s Chinese Capsules; MMC 100% Natural Product Capsules 

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has tested the products labelled Dr Ming's Chinese capsule and MMC 100% Natural Product Capsules and found that they both contain the undeclared substance sildenafil. Consumers are advised that sildenafil is a prescription-only substance (Viagra).

Sources: http://tinyurl.com/l8t442z &  http://tinyurl.com/kw3x36m


TGA Safety Advisory 1. – Counterfeit Cialis 

Lilly Icos Cialis 20mg tablets (Lot numbers 05668 and AD47385) are counterfeit and pose a serious risk to your health and should not be taken.  Source: http://tinyurl.com/k26kq66


Australia & New Zealand Ministerial Forum On Food Regulation Final Communiqué 

The Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) considered a range of matters including an update on the Health Star Rating (HSR) system, the review of low THC hemp as a food and production and processing requirements for approved raw milk products. The Forum comprises all Australian and New Zealand Ministers responsible for food regulation, and is chaired by the Australian Government Assistant Minister for Health, Senator the Hon Fiona Nash.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/ksph84g


Australian Private Health Insurance Rebate Review 

Recently, a ‘confidential’ draft report, Australian Government Rebate on Natural Therapies for Private Health Insurance, was leaked to the media. Whilst the report is not available and is apparently still under consideration, there is speculation that the private health insurance rebate (PHIR) for natural therapies may be removed to provide the Federal Government with tens of millions of dollars in savings to the health budget.

Source: (CMA member alert) http://tinyurl.com/naagftf


Two Leading British Herbal Organisations Endorse Botanical Adulterants Educational Programme 
The National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH) and the British Herbal Medicine Association (BHMA) have recently endorsed the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program, an international consortium of non-profit organisations, analytical laboratories, industry members, professional scientists, and others that advises industry, researchers, health professionals, and additional communities about the various challenges related to adulterated herbs and botanical ingredients in commerce. Note: Robert Forbes & Associates is an official supporter of this ABC project.


Sponsor Notice: 

TGA approved Setria® Glutathione is now exclusively available from Trans Chem Pty Ltd.

Setria® Glutathione is a unique tripeptide consisting of three amino acids: glutamate, cysteine, and glycine. Setria® Glutathione is an antioxidant present in almost every cell in the body and is recognised as the great protector of the body. Setria® Glutathione is involved in helping to fight off free-radicals and toxins which damage the body.

One of the main clinical trials using Setria® Glutathione demonstrated that Setria® Glutathione levels in the blood were increased via oral supplementation. Setria® Glutathione is manufactured to GMP standards through a patented fermentation process and it is allergen free, has kosher approval and is suitable for vegetarians. 

Setria® Glutathione is being utilised to manufacture a variety of products that:

  •    Provide antioxidant protection
  •    Promote detoxification
  •    Fortify the immune system

Disclaimer – “Any claims or statements presented in this material are those of Trans Chem Pty Ltd and Kyowa Hakko. Trans Chem Pty Ltd would like to state that these claims and indications are only a suggestion and Sponsors claims and indications would need to reflect their own evidence at their company’s discretion.

“Trans Chem Pty Ltd would also like to state that therapeutic indications used in marketing can only be as per the ARTG. If, however, the claims are not therapeutic in nature, they can be used in marketing even if not listed not he ARTG, however they must be 100% true, accurate and not misleading”.


Lauren Abi Saab | Communications, Marketing & Administration Coordinator 
Unit 8, 112-118 Talavera Road, North Ryde, NSW 2113 Australia

Tel: +61 (0)2 9887 1688 | Fax: +61 (0)2 9887 1117 | Mob: 0423 111 604

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Website: www.transchem.com.au


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