On 24 July 2018, a roundtable on sports supplements was convened by the Australian Government Department of Health on behalf of the Food Regulation Standing Committee (FRSC). The roundtable consisted of consumer groups, the sports supplement industry, health professionals, the Australian Government and state and territory governments.
The roundtable discussed current regulations for sports supplements and considered what can be done to enhance consumer safety. An outcome report from the roundtable has been published.
An action plan has subsequently been developed and was agreed to by the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) on 11 October 2018. The action plan includes all proposed actions discussed at the roundtable and is separated into three main focus areas – Regulation; Targeted education; and Reporting and communication. Key priorities within these focus areas are described below.
The priority action in regards to regulation is to undertake a full review of Standard 2.9.4 – Formulated Supplementary Sports Foods in the Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code. The aim of this review is to modernise the Standard in recognition of the expanding and changing sports supplement market. This review will be undertaken by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). There will be further opportunities for stakeholders to provide their views prior to any potential amendments being finalised.
Action 6: developing education materials for gyms and personal trainers and Action 7: exploring the provision of information to sports supplements consumers on the potential risks associated with consuming sports supplements are considered the highest priorities for this section of the action plan. It is intended that these two actions be combined into a single education campaign with the two target audiences. This targeted education will be developed by Australian Government Department of Health in 2019 in consultation with relevant stakeholders.
Reporting and communication
Reporting non-compliant imported products to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) is considered a high priority action. DAWR has requested FSANZ to undertake a risk assessment of imported sports supplements. It is expected that the risk assessment will support an increased inspection rate of imported products at the border which will assist in preventing non-compliant products entering the Australian market.