Food and therapeutic goods interface, TGA tries to provide ‘guidance’
Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (the TGA) has released late last week a guidance tool in an attempt to clarify the difference between a food and a therapeutic good.
The TGA is responsible for regulating complementary medicines and medicines and other therapeutic products in Australia. The TGA does not regulate food. Food products in Australia are governed by a separate regulatory regime under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Food Standards Code) written by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and enforced by state and municipal food regulators under the Food Act of each Australian state or territory.
Commenting on the TGA’s “Food Medicine Interface Guidance Tool” FoodLegal managing principal Joe Lederman said that the guidance was very basic and did not provide definitive answers.
Mr Lederman said that the application of food standards to a food product was product-dependent and that question 4 required considerable expert knowledge about the operation of the Food Standards Code and the potential for choosing to categorise a product in a particular way based on composition or labelling considerations.
At FoodLegal’s upcoming Symposium on 11 August 2014, speakers include Rob Forbes of Robert Forbes and Associates and FoodLegal’s Charles Fisher. Mr Forbes’ presentation will include analysis of the TGA’s approach on the issue of interface between foods and therapeutic goods.