The supplier of Bosisto’s tea tree oil, Felton Grimwade & Bosisto’s Pty Ltd (Bosisto’s), has paid a penalty of $10,800 following the issue of an infringement notice by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. 

The ACCC issued the infringement notice because it had reasonable grounds to believe that Bosisto’s had made a false or misleading representation in breach of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by labelling its tea tree oil as 100% pure, when that was not the case. The ACCC formed this view on the basis of testing it commissioned which indicated that the Bosisto’s tea tree oil product was not 100% pure tea tree oil.

“Consumers must be able to rely on purity or credence claims made on product packaging and labelling when making purchasing decisions, as they are unable to verify the accuracy of these claims themselves,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

Tea tree oil is an essential oil that is commonly sold through pharmacies and retailers of natural products.

The payment of a penalty following the issue of an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the ACL. The ACCC can issue an infringement notice if it has reasonable grounds to believe a person has contravened certain consumer protection laws.