New Zealand considers mandatory ingredients labelling

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags New zealand Cosmetics

Authorities in New Zealand are considering measures to introduce
stricter ingredient labelling regulations in the country as a means
of drawing attention to potentially hazardous ingredients.

The proposal, which has been supported by the nation's Green Party, aims to bring labelling regulations in line with those of both the food industry in the country as well as other global cosmetics regulations. The proposal is being made through the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) and has been lobbied for and supported by the Green Party, represented by healthspokesperson Sue Kedgley. "Chemicals we put on our skin can easily find their way into our body, and consumers have every right to know what is in these products - just as they have the right to know what is in the food they eat. It is heartening that ERMA agrees with the Green Party,"​ Kedgley said. Campaigning for clearer labelling ​ Kedgley has been campaigning on behalf of the green party for a number of issues relating to cosmetic and personal care products, including a much-publicised campaign for the testing of imported toothpastes, which she ran last year. The proposal is chiefly aiming to ensure that New Zealand's cosmetic labelling regulation complies with regulations that already exist in the global marketplace, specifically Australia, the US and Europe. The proposal suggests that any ingredients used in concentrations of 1 per cent or more should be listed in descending order, as well as including specific details about any fragrances or colours used in the formulation. "There are still many imported and local products that do not have any ingredient labelling,"​ Kedgley pointed out. Campaign ties in with toothpaste scare​ This gray area ties in with Kedgely's toothpaste campaign, which bought to the authority's attention that current regulations left the country vulnerable to the import of unregulated oral care products manufactured in China. Last year saw a global scare over toothpastes originating from China that were found to contain traces of the potentially poisonous chemical diethylene glycol. The Green Party is also lobbying in favour of new proposals that would tighten up the regulation of hair dye products containing ingredients that have already been outlawed by the European Union. In November 2007 the EU banned 14 hair dyes on the grounds that they contain substances linked to an increase risk of bladder cancer. The proposal suggets that these same hair dyes should also be banned in New Zealand. The ERMA consultation is currently available online and the authority is inviting submissions before April 16.

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