Friends of the Earth fights Antaria
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MELBOURNE, Aug 29 AAP
August 29 2012, 6:01PM
Environmental activism group Friends of the Earth has launched another attack on sunscreen-ingredient maker Antaria.
Friends of the Earth said on Wednesday that it had lodged a complaint with the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) against Antaria, alleging that Antaria had violated the Corporations Act.
Antaria said on Wednesday that it had not seen the Friends of the Earth complaint and was not immediately able to respond to it.
But in July Antaria had rejected the group's claims made in a complaint to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
"The basis of the complaint is that Antaria Ltd has misrepresented to the market the nature of its principal product (ZinClear IM), which it manufactures and supplies to third parties in Australia and overseas for use in sunscreen applications, and has not disclosed important price-sensitive information to the ASX in a timely manner," Friends of the Earth said in its complaint to the ASX.
ZinClear IM is a micron-sized zinc oxide powder used in sunscreen formulations.
Friends of the Earth claims that Antaria failed to notify the ASX that ECOCERT, a certifier of organic and natural cosmetics, had suspended its certification of Antaria's product, ZinClear IM, after Antaria failed to provide evidence that the product was not a nano-material.
Dr Gregory Crocetti of Friends of the Earth's nano-technology project said on Wednesday that Antaria had been marketing ZinClear IM on the basis of its non-nano claims and ECOCERT accreditation.
He said there were fears that nano-ingredients in sunscreens could lead to cancer.
In its July complaint to the ACCC, Friends of the Earth accused Antaria of misleading and deceptive conduct in marketing ZinClear IM as "non-nano".
Antaria said in July that the zinc oxide in its ZinClear IM product was of a non-nano particle size, using internationally-accepted methods of measurement.
Antaria also said that the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration and the US Food and Drug Administration had repeatedly confirmed that zinc oxides such as ZinClear were safe for use in sunscreens.
Antaria rejected allegations that it had misled the public in relation to ZinClear IM.
Shares in Antaria last traded at 0.9 cents.