Stronger sunscreen standards on the horizon

A Member’s Bill that would make sure all sunscreens on the shelf meet our standards and provide the protection they claim has been pulled from the ballot today, Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller says.

The Sunscreen Product Safety Standard Bill would require the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to recommend the setting of mandatory regulations under Section 29 of the Fair Trading Act 1986, prescribing a product safety standard for sunscreen products.

“Our sun is pretty brutal and New Zealand has one of the highest rates of skin cancer and melanoma in the world,” Mr Muller says.

“We have a joint sunscreen standard with Australia, which prescribes product tests and labelling requirements, but both countries take different approaches to apply 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 2019 and is only about a new regulatory regime. Passing this legislation would mean we could have standards in place in time for next summer.

“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.

“I urge all MPs to take sunscreen and the health of our skin seriously and vote for my law change.”


A copy of the legislation can be found here.