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Regulation of contaminated products

Therapeutic products

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is a Commonwealth agency responsible for regulating therapeutic goods including medicines, medical devices, blood and blood products. This includes every day products such as sunscreens to prescription medicines, vaccines, blood products and implants.

The Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 administered by the TGA provides regulatory framework and risk management approach for a safe, effective and quality medicines.

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is the federal regulator responsible for the assessment and registration of agricultural and veterinary chemical products. Through the National Registration Scheme the APVMA registers and regulates the manufacture and supply of all pesticides and veterinary medicines used in the country, up to the point of retail sale. It also assesses agricultural and veterinary chemicals or products for potential impacts on human health, the environment and trade and efficacy.

NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA)

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) regulates the use of chemicals and pesticides in New South Wales to reduce exposure and minimise impacts on the environment including plants, animals and people. This involves developing and enforcing chemical control and pesticide use laws, including regulating remediation technologies for treating chemical and pesticide wastes and controlling major industrial spills and other hazardous incidents. EPA also provides information and advice on management of chemicals and pesticides.

Food products

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ)

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSNAZ) is an independent statutory agency, but is part of the Commonwealths’ Department of Health and Ageing portfolio. It develops food standards to cover the food industry in Australia and New Zealand. Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code regulates the use of ingredients, processing aids, colouring, additives, vitamins and minerals. It also covers the composition of some foods e.g. diary, meat, beverages and genetically modified foods.

Labelling of both packaged and unpackaged food, including specific mandatory warnings or advisory labels are also regulated by FSANZ. Further, the FSANZ covers standards across food supply chain, primary production, processing, food hygiene and setting of residue limits for agricultural and veterinary products.

NSW Food Authority

The NSW Food Authority provides regulatory framework for the food industry in the state by administering and enforcing State and national food legislation. This includes the national Food Standards Code and the Food Act 2003 (NSW), as well as a range of food safety schemes in the Food Regulation 2010, which regulates key industry sectors. The Authority ensures food sold in the state is safe and correctly labelled, and that consumers are provided with information that helps them make informed choices about the food they eat.

Industrial chemicals

National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS)

The NICNAS provides a national notification and assessment scheme to protect the health of the public, workers and the environment from the harmful effects of industrial chemicals. It also assesses all chemicals new to Australia and assesses those chemicals already used (existing chemicals) on a priority basis, in response to concerns about their safety on health and environmental grounds.

Consumer products

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

The ACCC is the national regulator of consumer products and administers the Commonwealth Competition and Consumer Act 2010. This Act sets out the Australian Consumer Law. Under the Act it has powers to recall or ban products that do not meet certain standards, are defective, or create an imminent risk of death, serious illness or serious injury. The ACCC also undertakes assessments of the chemical hazards in products, which may be in conjunction with the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS).

The Australian Consumer Law is designed to create a consistent approach to the banning or recalling of products in Australia. As such, state and territory governments are limited in their approaches to recall or ban a product, which will occur at the national level. State and Territories have the ability to impose interim bans and consult with the national regulator about product safety issues.

NSW Fair Trading

The NSW Fair trading is the consumer protection agency that works to assist consumers in resolving a wide range of issues. Information can be obtained about consumer rights when shopping, renting, buying or servicing motor vehicles etc. It also advises traders on fair and ethical practice, registers businesses and promotes co-operatives, provides occupational licensing and maintains product safety and standards.

NSW Fair Trading administers a range of laws of which the most important ones are:

Page Updated: Wednesday 25 July 2018
Contact page owner: Environmental Health