We know - we hate clickbait headlines too, but this is really urgent. We (the supplement industry) along with existing and potential supplement users in Australia need your help before 3 December 2019.

The TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) have proposed some major changes for our industry which may have far reaching implications.

If you’re part of the supplement industry, use supplements of any kind, or know someone who does, please read on and be sure to share this with your friends and colleagues.

Most importantly, if you’d like to act, please see our suggestions at the bottom of this page.


What’s the situation?

In short, the TGA (which currently regulates medications and medical devices in Australia) has proposed draft legislation which will re-categorise almost every supplement sold in the Australian market.

This would change the categorisation of protein powders, pre workouts, recovery products, weight loss blends and wellness products from ‘foods’ to ‘therapeutic goods’ as early as next year (2020).

The proposed legislation will affect:

  • what ingredients can be used
  • the dosages of ingredients used
  • what claims can be made on the products

Right now, these products are currently categorised as foods and regulated as such – by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)


Can you give me some examples?

Claims as benign as “muscle building” or “post workout recovery” on labels and advertising would see protein powders become classified as therapeutic goods, instead of foods. This would affect virtually every protein powder on the market.

Doses of amino acids like Leucine above 490mg would see a product fall into the category of therapeutic goods – which captures virtually every Amino Acid /BCAA based product.

For more specific examples on the TGA submission (pages 9 to 11): https://www.tga.gov.au/sites/default/files/consultation-proposed-clarification-certain-sports-supplements-are-therapeutic-goods_0.pdf

While the example for protein powder on page 11, case study 4 lists that protein powder would not be determined as a therapeutic good, the proposed TGA draft page 4, section 2, column 3 (viewable here) states claims such as "(c) gaining muscle" "(f) increasing stamina" would see a product come under the therapeutic good classification.


What does this mean for me?

If the proposed changes pass it would have a massive effect on the industry - we estimate around 90% of the products currently sold on the market would be re-categorised, if remaining as is.

Short term: you’ll see a huge number of products taken off the market – including those you currently use and/or sell, some would have immediate labelling changes to remain on the shelves.

Medium term: some would re-appear with lower doses and limited number of ingredients, as well as changes to claims on labelling. Some would eventually become TGA registered goods and cost more.

Long term: the end result is undisputedly less choice for consumers, with higher prices across the board as TGA licencing is far more complex than the manufacture of food products (where supplements currently fall).

For the Australian supplement industry (which is currently valued at 1 billion dollars) it means thousands of jobs lost, which has a knock-on effect to retailers, distributors, manufacturers, importers, exporters, promoters of events, athletes, third parties which look after freight, and even raw producers like dairies based in Australia.

If the proposed legislation passes, Australia would have the strictest legislation around supplement claims and ingredients in the world.


Why is this happening?

In short, legislators are concerned about safety in the industry and for consumers.

We agree that safety always needs to be considered, but also that the consumer should have the choice about when and how they take supplements.

We believe that some minor, sensible changes, like those proposed by the TGA in the consulatation paper in relation to regulating poisions and WADA banned goods are sound. We feel this would cover key safety issues, while preserving customer choice and the industry’s longevity.

To get all the facts, we’d encourage you to read the TGA's consultation paper as well as the draft - Therapeutic Goods, (declared goods) 2020.


So what can I do?

If you ...

  • are concerned about these changes
  • don’t want to pay more for less choice
  • don’t want to see the Australian supplement industry harmed by the most restrictive supplement legislation in the world

... you can make a submission to the TGA, addressing the points important to you. Submissions close 3rd December 2019 - so act now.

The TGA survey can be completed in as little as 5 minutes, and your input will make a difference. Follow the link below:

https://healthau.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_78oS10Qy4kpWdGR

If this issue is important to you, we would urge you to act now as the 3rd December 2019 deadline is fast approaching.

Please also share this with your friends, co-workers, gym buddies and anyone you think would like to have a say.

Thank you for your help,

Ben Crowley

Owner / Founder Bulk Nutrients
(on behalf of the concerned Australian supplement industry)