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Natural health sector gearing up for election

Media Release
24 April 2005

Natural health sector gearing up for election battle

The Labour Government is being warned not to underestimate opposition to the proposed joint agency to regulate natural health products, with latest independent research showing that 62% of New Zealanders use some form of natural health product or dietary supplement.

“That’s 2.5 million New Zealanders, who are watching what this Government is planning in the run-up to the election,” said Amy Adams, spokesperson for consumer watchdog the NZ Health Trust.

“Annette King should not underestimate these consumers - they care about their access to these products and want the Government to recognise this is a main stream issue.”

“They aren’t going to be pleased if they see products disappearing from shelves, Kiwi companies closing down or moving to Australia and the right of the New Zealand Parliament to control the sector overruled by Australia.”

The natural health product sector is gearing up for a campaign against the Government’s proposal to allow an Australian-dominated agency to control a huge range of products including vitamins, natural health products, herbal remedies and mineral supplements.

The proposed new agency has met with near unanimous political disapproval – it is opposed by National, ACT, the Green Party, United Future and New Zealand First, which means the Government currently has not got the numbers to pass the legislation it has promised Australia it will enact by the end of this year.

ENDS


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