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New Zealand’s Medical Association is calling for lawmakers to consider and introduce the Sunscreen (Product Safety Standard) Bill.
It was said that Kiwis having fun in the sun should not have to ‘feel the burn’ from suspected sunscreens which have failed to thoroughly and honestly report testing data.
This follows the Commerce Commission’s plead for mandatory standards to be made requiring companies to regularly test their sunscreens at authorised labs after a lab in the United States that actively tested sunscreen products sold in New Zealand pleaded guilty to falsifying results.
Consumer New Zealand Chief Executive Jon Duffy said for years the reports were sent to them from AMA Labs but it was found they were not up to standard.
“Manufacturers continued to rely on AMA Labs’ results despite our tests showing products failed to meet their label claims,” Mr Duffy said.
“With all the attention on this issue, it isn’t reasonable for a manufacturer to maintain that an AMA Lab report is good evidence its product provides the protection claimed on the label. Consumers have been deceived.”
NZMA incoming Chair Dr Alistair Humphrey says New Zealanders should know what they are applying to themselves and family members including trusting that it should be safe to use.
“Sunscreen needs to do what it says on the bottle. Recent experience indicates that’s not always the case,” Dr Humphrey said.
“In a country with one of the highest rates of skin cancer and melanoma in the world, it is unacceptable that sunscreen products here are not subject to mandatory regulation.”
In 2020, seven out of twelve sunscreens were tested by Consumer NZ but returned with failure to meet SPF label claims. Three of the seven failed requirements for broad-spectrum protection.
Compliance for safety standards for testing methods and labelling is voluntary in New Zealand and calls are being made to regulate it.
The Sunscreen (Product Safety Standard) Bill will require the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to recommend under section 29 of the Fair Trading Act for mandatory regulations.
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