Friends of the Earth have lodged an ASX complaint against sunscreen ingredient manufacturer Antaria. The group claim that by failing to notify the ASX of evidence that its ZinClear IM product is a nanomaterial, and that the product’s ECOCERT accreditation has been suspended, the company is in violation of the Corporations Act (2001).

Antaria has been marketing its ZinClear IM product globally on the basis of its non-nano claims and ECOCERT accreditation, and has consistently failed to notify the ASX of price sensitive information.

Antaria failed to notify the ASX when earlier this month one of the world’s leading certifiers of organic and natural cosmetics, ECOCERT, withdraw its certification of ZinClear IM after Antaria failed to provide evidence that it wasn’t a nanomaterial.

ECOCERT’s decision is the first major repercussion for Antaria since Friends of the Earth lodged an ACCC complaint last month – accusing the company of misleading and deceptive conduct – and could have a major impact on the company’s global sales. ZinClear IM is Antaria’s flagship product, accounting for 82% of the company’s sales. Antaria’s share price dipped 33% in the days following FoE’s revelations.

Quite frankly, if the Therapeutic Goods Administration had properly regulated nano-ingredients in sunscreen we would never be in this mess.

From July next year, nano-ingredients used in sunscreen in the European Union will have to be safety tested and labelled. This should hopefully prevent companies from making misleading claims in Europe in the future. But in Australia we will have no such protection.

European regulators are taking action to protect consumers from untested and unlabelled nano-ingredients in sunscreen. Why can’t our Federal Government do the same?