Consumer NZ has again called for the Australian and New Zealand sunscreen standard to be mandatory, as it is in Australia.
Consumer NZ senior writer Belinda Castles, speaking at the fifth national Melanoma Summit in Auckland, said a mandatory standard was needed to help ensure sunscreens provided the protection claimed.
“We’ve been campaigning for a mandatory standard for years. The current situation, where compliance with the standard is voluntary, isn’t good enough for a country with one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.”
Ms Castles said Consumer NZ’s testing had found sunscreens being sold that didn’t provide the SPF protection claimed.
Last year, Consumer NZ tested 20 sunscreens and found only nine met their SPF label claim and the requirements for broad-spectrum protection.
“If sunscreens were regulated, manufacturers would have to test their products and consumers could be more confident about using them.
“Making the standard mandatory would also capture the natural sunscreen products being sold in New Zealand that haven’t been tested at all.
“Companies should be testing their products regularly to ensure different batches still meet their label claims and testing each new formulation of a product, especially if it contains different active ingredients.”
Ms Castles said Consumer NZ was also concerned about the consistency of results from different test labs used by manufacturers and the issue required investigation.
The results of Consumer NZ’s latest sunscreens test are due next month.