A Members’ Bill that would ensure all sunscreens on the shelf meet our standards and actually provide the protection they claim has been lodged in the ballot, Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller says.
“New Zealand has one of the highest rates of skin cancer and melanoma in the world. Last year our non-melanoma skin cancer rates hit an all-time high.
“We have a joint sunscreen standard with Australia, which prescribes product tests and labelling requirements, but both countries take different approaches to applying this.
“The standard is mandatory in Australia but voluntary in New Zealand, meaning anyone can make a sunscreen and sell it here without having to test that it actually provides the protection claimed.
“New Zealanders need to have confidence in the SPF claims made by sunscreen manufacturers. Voluntary compliance with the standard is simply not good enough.
“The Government has promised to act but it hasn’t. Its consultation process ended in April and is only about a new regulatory regime. New Zealanders are heading into a long, hot summer – they can’t wait any longer.
“My Members’ Bill would require the Minister of Commerce and Consumer affairs to recommend the setting of mandatory regulation under Section 29 of the Fair Trading Act 1986, prescribing a product safety standard for sunscreen products.
“Skin cancer hits close to home for me. I’ve had a number of minor skin cancers removed from my face and body and others in my wider family have had melanoma.
“It is absolutely critical that my young family and our wider community have complete confidence in the sunscreens they are using.”