The campaign was in response to reforms being proposed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to the sport and health supplement industry – an industry which is already well regulated.
While everyone agrees with making the industry even safer, there are concerns over moves to classify sports and health supplements as therapeutic goods – or medicines.
The industry believes the economic fallout will be unprecedented – businesses will close, jobs – both in our factories, in our stores and in secondary industries like those who transport our product – will be lost.
There are real concerns the Australian economy will not be able to absorb the cost burden and loss of revenue.
And the choice of Australian consumers will be severely restricted.
Worst case scenario – up to 70,000 products could be removed from our shelves as the formal process to re-classify them could take several years.
The industry fears these proposed changes will not improve consumer safety or reduce risk – the stated aim of the reforms!
Australians wanting to improve their health and performance, could be forced to search elsewhere if they can’t buy their supplements locally – turning them instead to unregulated websites overseas.
With their focus always on customers and their safety, the industry was calling for more time for consultation.
We want to work with the TGA on this. We want to consult closely with them on any proposed changes. There needs to be close dialogue between retailers, manufacturers, the TGA, FSANZ – a whole raft of people and organisations – to make sure we get it right because so much is at stake.
A regulatory and economic impact statement must be created before an approved collaborative strategy is implemented.
Potentially millions of Australians – from the people who go to the store to buy their supplement for health or sport reasons, the staff in the stores that stock the product who could lose their jobs if the business closes, the driver of the trucks who transport the product, the people who work in the factories and even the hard-hit farmers who provide the ingredients – could suffer.
It’s a domino really – but we don’t know what the exact impact will be, but we are worried – and that is why we need to sit down with the TGA and discuss these changes, which the industry believes could have an “unprecedented economic impact”.
We want as many people as possible to find their voice, and have their say, before it’s too late.