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FGC congratulates Government on proposed changes


MEDIA RELEASE

2 November 2010

FGC congratulates Government on proposed changes

FGC congratulates Government on proposed changes to regulations on toothpastes, shampoos and other grocery products

The Food and Grocery Council (FGC) congratulates the Government on its latest common sense decision on the regulation of toothpastes, anti-dandruff shampoos and other face products, says Chief Executive, Katherine Rich.

"The changes announced today will slash red tape for the grocery sector and save millions in unnecessary compliance costs for grocery businesses manufacturing and marketing these products in New Zealand.

"The rules in New Zealand have been an international embarrassment. We are the only country in the world to regulate these common supermarket products with the same force as pharmaceutical drugs. It's an unnecessary and costly double-regulation when these products are already required to meet strict cosmetic standards overseen by ERMA."

Mrs Rich says that the total cost of putting a new toothpaste or anti-dandruff shampoo on New Zealand shelves costs FGC members anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000, and that they have to go through the same costly and lengthy process every time the product changes - even if it's something insignificant like a fragrance or flavour.

"The result is that many products simply don't get released in New Zealand because it is not economic to introduce them to our small market. If the product is released at all then it's usually up to a year after it is available elsewhere in the world.

"These changes will make a major difference for FGC members doing business in this country. New Zealanders will benefit too. Introducing common sense regulation and slashing these unnecessary compliance costs will create greater choice for New Zealand shoppers. For the first time they will be able to buy many products currently available in Australia and elsewhere around the world.

"This momentous Government decision will bring New Zealand rules into alignment with the rest of the world and will increase access to a wider range of products.

"The grocery sector has raised this issue with ministers consistently over the last 20 years. Ministers Ryall and Hide are the first to listen and take action by cutting this excessive red tape." Mrs Rich said.

ENDS

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