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One industry body has called on the authors of a recent study to provide details of contaminated CAMs to the TGA

Last week, researchers from Murdoch University and Curtin University in WA, and the University of Adelaide in SA published data which showed that nearly 50% of complementary and alternative medicines they tested had contamination issues.

These included the presence of animal ingredients, nuts, wheat, pharmaceuticals and toxins.

One sample contained undeclared Neem oil.

The products tested had been bought in pharmacies, health food stores, traditional herbal retailers and online in Australian capital cities.

Now, Consumer Healthcare Products Australia – formerly known as the Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) – has made a statement declaring that “dangerous, ineffective, mislabelled and poor quality medicines are unacceptable and there are harsh penalties and sanctions for those who violate consumer protections”.

“Following the publication of a recent study that raised concerns about the composition of some complementary medicines, CHP Australia calls on the authors to provide details of the products in question to the TGA for verification and appropriate regulatory action,” the organisation said.

“Australia has some of the toughest and most comprehensive regulations in the world for complementary medicines, and this rigor supports consumer safety and confidence in the products both here and abroad.

“TGA verification is necessary as the authors’ assertion that some products did not contain the correct active ingredients cannot be substantiated using their methodology, the accuracy and application of which has been contested. In the instance of fish and krill oil products, the absence of detected DNA material is anticipated given the safe and effective extraction and refining processes used.

“We look forward to the authors working with the TGA and product sponsors to re-examine the relevant products using appropriate analytical test methods, enabling the TGA to take any necessary action.”

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