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Natural health products bill good for consumer

Media Release: June 16 2011

Natural health products bill good for consumer

The NZ Health Trust welcomes the decision by the Government to introduce a Natural Health Products Bill before the General Election in November.

Trust spokesman Dave Sloan says it is pleasing to see the regulator will sit within the Ministry of Health, but be separate to Medsafe, the pharmaceuticals medicines regulator.

“We are happy it supports a stand-alone regulatory system and from what we have seen so far it is risk proportionate and bears no resemblance to the Australian system,” Mr Sloan says. “A heavy-handed and expensive preapproval system, like the previously proposed ANZTPA joint agency approach, would not have been fair to either consumers, or the industry.

“We whole heartedly support Government’s acknowledgement that natural health products are distinct from pharmaceutical drugs and foods. Natural products have had a long history of safe use in this country. As it is proposed so far, it looks as though the regulation will secure a future for the natural health sector that encourages further research and development. At the same time it ensures consumers both retain their rights and get information and products that are produced to appropriate regulatory standards.”

Mr Sloan says the NZ Trust has been happy with the way the Government has worked well with the Green Party as well as consulted the natural health product sector and that the proposals recognise the relatively low-risk nature of natural health products.

While the devil is always in the detail, Mr Sloan says the NZ Health Trust looks forward to contributing its expertise further before the bill makes its way through Parliament.


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