‘Made in Australia’ ruling
COMPLEMENTARY Medicines Australia has highlighted a decision by the Federal Court against Nature’s Care as an example of how Australian companies are being negatively impacted by new Australian Competition and Consumer Commission guidelines.
The court yesterday ruled that encapsulation in Australia of imported fish oil and vitamin D by Nature’s Care would not permit the capsules to be labelled “Made in Australia” under the Country of Origin labelling provisions of the Australian Consumer Law.
ACCC Deputy Chair, Mick Keogh, said it was pleasing that the Court’s approach was consistent with guidance given by the Commission, in response to new Federal laws that changed the criteria for companies to claim “Made in Australia” status.
Earlier this year Nature’s Care applied to renew its licence from Australian Made Campaign Limited (AMCL) so it could continue to use the associated kangaroo logo for its Fish Oil 1000+Vitamin D3 product.
The AMCL rejected the renewal, with Nature’s Care subsequently instituting proceedings seeking a declaration that the product was “substantially transformed” in Australia which would have allowed it to be labelled “Made in Australia” despite containing primarily imported ingredients.
The ACCC intervened in the case as a matter of public importance, providing evidence to support its view that encapsulation and addition of a vitamin should not be considered a “substantial transformation” of the ingredients.
Complementary Medicines Australia CEO Carl Gibson said the organisation was working with the Government “to secure an outcome that guarantees Australian manufacturing jobs and secures our export markets”.