New rules to bring in­dus­try into line

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - THE SNITCH -

BODY build­ing prod­ucts will carry warn­ing la­bels and per­sonal train­ers will be or­dered to stop giv­ing diet ad­vice un­der a plan to con­trol the boom­ing sports sup­ple­ments in­dus­try.

The scheme has been drawn up af­ter rev­e­la­tions pro­tein pow­ders con­trib­uted to the death of 25-year-old Western Aus­tralian mum Mee­gan Hef­ford in 2017.

Mea­sures agreed by the Aus­tralia and New Zealand Min­is­te­rial Fo­rum on Food Reg­u­la­tion in­clude:

De­vel­op­ing a com­pli­ance and en­force­ment strat­egy, in­clud­ing po­ten­tial test­ing and le­gal ac­tion. Anec­do­tal ev­i­dence ap­pears to show a num­ber of non-com­pli­ant prod­ucts.

An ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram for gyms and per­sonal train­ers to en­sure they only pro­vide ba­sic healthy eat­ing in­for­ma­tion. Ad­vice about sup­ple­ments would in­stead be re­ferred to qual­i­fied pro­fes­sion­als, such as a sports di­eti­tian.

In­form­ing gym-go­ers about the po­ten­tial risks as­so­ci­ated with sup­ple­ments and where to get diet ad­vice. Sup­ple­ments are widely used but many are un­aware of the risks.

Re­view­ing the out­dated sec­tion of the Food Stan­dards Code that has strug­gled to keep abreast with the in­dus­try. Re­form could in­clude com­po­si­tional and la­belling re­quire­ments.

Ms Hef­ford’s death made head­lines across the world and sparked a ma­jor de­bate about the safety of high-pro­tein di­ets and the use of sup­ple­ments.

Un­known to the mum-oftwo, she had a rare ge­netic dis­or­der that stopped her body from prop­erly break­ing down pro­tein.

Fed­eral Health Min­is­ter Greg Hunt has since pushed for im­proved safety mea­sures.

These will also in­clude help­ing doc­tors bet­ter iden­tify pa­tients with a meta­bolic con­di­tion such as Ms Hef­ford’s urea cy­cle dis­or­der.

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