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Protest On Parliament Against Medsafe’s Witch Hunt


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday 27th May


Protest On Parliament Against Medsafe’s Witch Hunt


Consumers of Natural Health products rally at the steps of Parliament Thursday 12 noon to present a petition of over 7,000 signatures calling on the Minister of Health to stop Medsafe’s witch hunt in the natural products industry. Medsafe have been making demands of businesses to remove information from their websites that pertain to a recently broadened definition of therapeutic claims. According to Medsafe’s recent interpretation of the 1981 Medicines Act it is now illegal to have research, clinical trials and testimonials on your website if they imply a therapeutic benefit for natural products. You may not even place links on your website to other sites with research, clinical trials or scientific studies relating to the ingredients in your products.

Spokesperson for Health Freedom NZ, Nicola Grace says “this is nothing short of a gag order and needs to be stopped”. She will present the petition on behalf of consumers to Sue Kedgley as head of the Health Select committee. The petition also calls on the Ministry of Health to get back to the negotiating table with the natural health industry who have been working on an appropriate New Zealand based model of regulation.

At 12.15 MPs will come down to receive the petition and give a speech about this back lash by the Ministry of Health for not accepting the “Anti-Vitamin” Bill last year. The head of Medsafe, Stewart Jessamine stated on National Radio earlier in the year that “This is part of a campaign to educate people that the (1981) legislation isn’t perfect and that we agree there is a need for new legislation in this area".

Sue Kedgley from the Greens, Rodney Hide from Act, Jackie Blue from National, and Gordon Copeland, who cast one of the deciding votes against the Bill when he became Independent from United Future will be available for interview by press at 12.15

The exact wording of the petition being presented is:

We, the undersigned, do respectfully call on the House to urge the Government to:


• STOP Medsafe's harassment of the natural products industry.


• BEGIN working with the natural products industry on a New Zealand regulatory model that will

regulate dietary supplements and natural remedies appropriately, and protect consumers at the same

time.


• LEGISLATE to remove natural products from Schedule 1 of the Medicines Act of 1981 because it is

inappropriate to regulate dietary supplements and natural products as if they were high risk

medicines.


• DEVELOP a separate classification and regulation for dietary supplements which allows properly justifiable claims to be made.

MPs are available for interview from 12:15.


ENDS

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