Why You Should Care About New Laws For Sport Supplements in Australia
Two of the biggest names in Australian CrossFit – Kara Saunders and James Newbury – have thrown their support behind a campaign to delay reforms of the country’s sport supplement industry.
What’s going on: In a nutshell, the Australian Government plans to change the categorization of sport supplements and clarify products which should instead be classified as medicines or therapeutic goods. It’ll help them get unsafe products off the shelves faster.
We spoke with Professor John Skerritt, the head of Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) the government body heading up the review and he said: “For several years, there’s been a history of problems with contaminated sports supplements or sports supplements that really are medicines.”
Why you should care: Those behind the Save Aussie Supplements campaign say 70 thousand products – from protein powders, pre and post workouts to electrolyte blends – could be taken off the shelves – and unavailable to consumers – while they’re tested during the consultation period.
- Even for those not living in Australia, supplements produced in the country (think ATP Science, True Protein) could be at risk.
- The crux of the campaign is that local suppliers and manufacturers don’t have enough time to pull a case together. The deadline for submissions is December 3.
- The TGA gave the industry six weeks for consultation (from October to December) but the timeline for the investigation is still unclear. In effect, the timeline that products could potentially be unavailable is also unknown.
Why CrossFitters should care: Both Newbury and Saunders took to Instagram to urge their loyal followers from around the world to sign a petition to see the consultation deadline extended. Saunders and Newbury are both sponsored by Australian made and owned company – ATP Science – and fear the products they “chose and prefer to use every day” would be temporarily unavailable.
- Steve Eddy from ATP is also heading up the campaign and told the Morning Chalk Up: “We all want the safety, we all want better products but currently it’s going to force people to buy things online from overseas.”
How can the government do this: Well they’re not, according to Professor John Skerritt.
- “The idea that people coming in in black uniforms, sweeping products off the shelves, I think we’ve been watching too many movies,” Professor Skerritt said.
- “There’s a tremendous lot of misinformation being put out by the Save Aussie Supplements people.”
- “They have not approached us to meet with us although we’ve written to some of the companies at the very beginning of the consultation.”
These are all claims those from Save Aussie Supplements deny.
Nothing to fear: Professor John Skerritt has moved to reassure customers of Australian made products: “There should be nothing to fear from either the public using supplements expect that they’ll be better regulated and harmful ones will be able to be taken off the market or remedied faster.”
For what it’s worth: The TGA is also proposing these reforms to better align with the country’s anti-doping agency ASADA (Australian Sports Anti-doping Authority)
ASADA is required to implement rules and regulations alongside WADA (World Anti-Doping Code) CrossFit also adheres to the standards set by the WADA.