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Trans-Tasman Treaty will cost jobs

1 April 2004

Officials agree Trans-Tasman Treaty will cost jobs and increase prices

Consumers and the economy will pay a heavy price for the Government’s insistence on a Trans Tasman regulatory system for Natural Health Products, according to a report by Ministry of Health officials released this week.

The National Interest Analysis was tabled as Government put a Trans-Tasman treaty signed late last year before Parliament for ratification.

Opponents of the proposed Trans Tasman scheme have been claiming it would see products pulled from shelves, costs of products go up and jobs disappear as many of the industry’s small players close down or relocate to Australia.

“After months of the industry saying it will be a disaster, finally officials have admitted that this proposal will see consumers and the New Zealand economy suffer,” said Amy Adams, spokesperson for the NZ Health Trust.

“Health Minister Annette King appears determined to proceed with this destructive and counterproductive system, despite intense opposition from industry, the public and the Health Select Committee.”

The NZ Health Trust is also angry that the National Interest Analysis claims that industry submissions were based on misinformation, saying that the real misinformation in this case is coming from MedSafe officials.

“For example it claimed complimentary medicines need to be regulated in this way because the Pan Pharmaceuticals situation proved that generally safe natural products can be dangerous if manufactured incorrectly” Mrs Adams said. “The truth is that of more than 1200 products recalled, NOT ONE of the natural health products was found to be at fault. It was only one pharmaceutical drug which was a problem.”

She said Government could expect more determined opposition. “Industry and consumers will not put up with natural health products being sacrificed on the altar of Closer Economic Relations by a desperate Government.”

ENDS

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