7 Apr 2021

Sunscreen safety member's bill passes first reading in Parliament

11:08 pm on 7 April 2021

A member's bill ensuring all sunscreens on New Zealand shelves meet the current standards and provide the level of SPF it says on the bottle, has passed its first reading in Parliament.


Sunscreen Photo: RNZ

The Sunscreen Product Safety Standard Bill is in the name of National MP Todd Muller.

It would require the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to recommend the setting of mandatory regulations under the Fair Trading Act, prescribing a safety standard for sunscreen products.

Muller says the New Zealand sun is brutal and this country has one of the highest rates of skin cancer and melanoma in the world.

He himself has had a number of "minor skin cancers" removed from his face and body; others in his wider family have also had melanoma.

He told Parliament it's critical his two "red headed daughters" and his son, along with other New Zealanders, can have confidence in the products when they're chosen off the shelf.

New Zealand has a joint sunscreen standard with Australia, which prescribes product tests and labelling requirements, but both countries take different approaches to applying that standard.

Muller says while it's mandatory in Australia, it had been voluntary in New Zealand, meaning anyone could produce a sunscreen and sell it without having to test that it actually provides the protection claimed.

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