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Another Blow for Trans Tasman Agency

Another Blow for Trans Tasman Agency

The Government’s proposal to regulate all natural health products and drugs through a joint Trans Tasman Agency took another body blow today, with the release of a second damming Select Committee report.

The Health Select Committee recommend Government NOT sign off on the international treaty establishing the agency unless fundamental problems were addressed, and five parties in Parliament felt even more strongly about the issue and added minority reports.

Health Minister Annette King agreed to establish the new Agency by signing a Treaty with Australia in December, just a few days after the first Health Select Committee report slammed the proposal saying it would wipe out NZ businesses and cost consumers both choice and money.

The New Zealand Health Trust welcomed the second damning report, saying the committee had recongnised the cost to New Zealand was far too high.
“It’s unbelievable that Labour want to proceed with this joint regulation,” said NZ Heath Trust spokesperson Amy Adams. “The Green Party, National, United Future, NZ First and ACT are all quite clear that it would be a mistake.”

“In addition, officials have told the Minister it will cost taxpayers up to $200 million, cost NZ jobs and force many small businesses to close, cause many products to disappear off the shelves and cost consumers significantly more to buy things like vitamins and minerals.”

Mrs Adams said it was not too late for Government to pull out of the deal with Australia, and to adopt the proposal that industry had put forward.

“We are gearing up for a massive fight to stop Government passing the legislation to enable the new joint agency,” she said. “Annette King should understand that the strength of opposition to this proposal is growing all the time.”

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