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ACT Opposes Aussie Rules For Dietary Supplements

Thursday 2 May 2002

ACT New Zealand is opposed to the New Zealand Government's proposal to establish a joint Trans Tasman body to regulate therapeutic products including among other things dietary supplements.

"The Therapeutic Goods Agency that is proposed is a sell out to Australian industry and heavy handed regulation," says ACT New Zealand Health Spokesman Ken Shirley.

"The Australian regime for dietary supplements protects vested business interests mainly in Australia. It creates expensive red tape for dietary supplements, even those that have passed the test of credibility such as the US Food & Drug Agency.

"Of particular concern is that the proposed Bill reduces competition, increases prices while reducing consumer choice.

"Generally harmonisation under CER and the facilitation of global trade is a laudable goal that ACT fully supports. In this instance however there is no upside for New Zealand and it restricts rather than facilitates trade and enhanced consumer choice.

"We have a very healthy, vibrant and growing dietary supplements industry in this country with a lot of further growth potential. That growth will be truncated if this measure proceeds. Some 40% of our dietary supplement market is imported from third countries, principally the USA, and many of them will likely be knocked out of the market by the Australian-based TGA regulations the Government is about to adopt.

"The only winners will be the Australian manufacturers who will gain access to an extended market with reduced competition as they are sheltered under unnecessary regulation and bureaucracy. According to an international committee of the American National Nutritional Foods Association, Australia is viewed internationally as the most draconian, regulatory regime for dietary supplements in the world. It would be complete folly for New Zealand to adopt this regime," Ken Shirley said.


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