INDUSTRY MINISTER MUST ACT, NOT JUST TALK, TO FIX COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE CRISIS

Today the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews MP, finally announced “changes” that would allow Australian complementary medicine manufacturers to continue to use the Australian Made logo.
 
The announcement comes as the Morrison Government is about to cross the threshold from unofficial nightwatchman government to official caretaker government.

Labor has been calling for action on this matter for months and only now do we see action – at two minutes to midnight. 
 
It is still not clear what these “changes” will be or if they can even be enacted before the caretaker period starts. 
 
Actions speak louder than words, so today Labor is calling on the Minister to come clean about how she proposes to fix this mess. 
 
It is a travesty that the Industry Minister even allowed these jobs to be put a risk in the first place. 
 
This is an industry that employs up to 30,000 Australians and contributes more than $5 billion to the Australian economy each year, but the Liberals seemed content to risk them being sent offshore.
 
Major Industry players like Blackmores have called the current situation "simply ludicrous", with other manufacturers such as Sanofi, Swisse and Vitex, and their industry body (Complementary Medicines Australia) have been calling for the Minister to intervene for months.
 
Australia’s Industry Minister should be the champion for Australian industry and jobs, not the facilitator of its demise and exporting of local jobs offshore.
 
The Liberals have already sent Australia’s automotive industry offshore; Labor will not allow them to do it to other industries.         


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  • Ken Harvey
    commented 2019-04-05 16:43:39 +1100
    Some questions:

    1. Don’t Australian consumers want to know where the ingredients of their medicines have come from? Wouldn’t ingredients from China be more likely to be viewed with more suspicion than ingredients sourced from Australia?

    2. The TGA’s regulation of listed complementary medicines is a trust-based, light-touch system and does not guarantee that products with the same ingredient on the label contain the same active constituent (see https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2210803318300435). It has been suggested that the ACCC requirement of ‘active transformation’ is likely to produce higher quality and less variable products. What do you think?

    3. Would Chinese consumers be happy to know that an Australian exported product with a “Made in Australia” logo contained Chinese ingredients, not Australian?
  • Ken Harvey
    commented 2019-04-05 16:37:16 +1100