In early 2018, the government introduced legislation to regulate the claims on therapeutic goods. The legislation contains a list of over 1000 claims that therapeutic goods companies can select from when making product claims. Of these claims, 86% are not backed by scientific evidence.
The legislation arose from the Sansom Review, a 2015 review into medicines and medical devices. The Review recommended that when making product claims, therapeutic goods companies must choose from a list of pre-approved claims. It also recommended that there needed to be a disclaimer alongside claims to communicate to consumers that the efficacy of the product had not been independently assessed and/or is based on traditional use. The government accepted a pre-approved list of claims but rejected the idea of a disclaimer.
To stop these laws going through, CHOICE went to Parliament House in May 2018 to deliver Federal Senators mock-ups of the proposed claims on complementary medicine products. Through our campaign, more than 6000 people wrote to Senators calling for honest labels on vitamins and supplements.
On June 22 2018, the opposition changed it stance to ensure that any claims on vitamins and supplements that aren't backed by scientific evidence should display a disclaimer.