The Therapeutic Goods Administration has proposed major changes for the Australian supplement industry in 2020, which may see popular sports supplement products become unavailable in the Australian market.
Bulk Nutrients, a major Australian sports supplement company, estimates that 90 per cent of the international and Australian owned sports supplements currently sold in the Australian market will be affected by the proposed changes.
Such sports supplements affected will include protein powders, pre workout powders, recovery products, muscle building products, weight loss blends and wellness products.
Ben Crowley, Owner and Founder of Bulk Nutrients, said that “every product out there is at risk.”
The proposed changes seek to create tighter regulations surrounding sports supplements by re-classifying them as therapeutic goods or medicine from 2020.
Some sports supplements have been found to contain illegal prescription medicines, toxic or dangerous substances and substances published on the prohibited list by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The changes would affect what ingredients can be used in supplements, the dosage of ingredients used and what can be stated about the product.
Currently, supplements are categorised as foods and regulated as such by Food Standards Australia.
If the proposal is approved and brands fail to comply with these new regulations, there may be detrimental impacts for the Australian supplement industry which is currently a $1.1 billion industry.
Ben said, “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.”
In the short term, a large number of products will most likely be taken off the market until they can comply with the new proposed regulations.
In the long term, consumers will have less choice in supplement brands and face higher prices for products.
Ben said the major challenge for his supplement business would be the “extra costs which would have to be passed on to customers and the limitation of ingredients we can use.”
Supplement brands which develop, manufacture and retail their own products will most likely have a greater ability to adapting to the new legislation.
“If the proposed legislation passes, Australia would have the strictest legislation around supplement claims and ingredients in the world,” said Ben.