One Australian every minute over the past week has made a submission to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) through the Save Aussie Supplements campaign.
In an around the clock effort more than 11,500 submissions have now been printed in Brisbane and are enroute to the TGA in Canberra ahead of the December 3 deadline for consultation.
Save Aussie Supplements spokesman Stephen Eddey said around 50 boxes have been packed with individually, printed submissions from thousands of everyday Aussies, business owners and people who potentially stand to lose their jobs.
“Australians are making their voices heard loud and clear when it comes to proposed reforms to reclassify health and sports supplements from foods to medicines,” Mr Eddey said.
“The risk is we could see up to 70,000 supplements including protein powders, pre and post workouts, gut health products, even sports drinks removed from shelves.”
In Victoria, Liberal Democrats MP David Limbrick used Parliament to warn the State Government proposed Federal changes would have a “devastating impact on hundreds of small businesses”.
“I would ask the Minister to meet with Stephen Eddey who is leading the (Save Aussie Supplements) campaign against the change on behalf of the supplement’s industry to discuss ways to save these jobs.”
The campaign is calling on the TGA to extend the consultation period beyond December 3 to encourage more collaboration with industry.
“In seven days we’ve had more than 11,500 people show they care about their consumer choice and many, including those in the industry, are concerned and confused.
“We all want safe supplements and a safe industry and to achieve that we want to work closely with the TGA.”
Mr Eddey, a naturopath and nutritionist and former vice-president of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS) said an unintended consequence of the proposed changes would be consumers turning to an overseas blackmarket.
“Reduce choice for consumers here with Aussie-made supplements and they’ll order on-line and import supplements which raises significant safety concerns.”
“With so much at stake, please – let’s take our time when it comes to making changes to an already heavily-regulating industry to ensure we get it right.”
The industry is calling on the TGA to consult extensively with stakeholders including the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), distributors of finished goods and raw materials, regulatory affairs consultants, universities conducting trials, agricultural industry and Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA).
The submissions are expected to arrive in Canberra on Friday.
A list of supplements likely to be impacted is below:
- All Australian-made supplemental foods in powder, liquid, capsule, tablet or pill
- Sports supplements – Fat loss; Muscle gain; Pre-workout; Post-workout; Mental performance; Stamina;
- Herbal products:
- Gut health products
- Sleep aids
- Plant based nutrients and vitamin blends
- Super foods – apple cider vinegar, herbals, fruit powders, dolomite, clay
- Encapsulated – fibre, superfoods, spirulina, apple cider vinegar, herbal teas, chia seeds, plant oils
- Functional foods – fermented, plant based