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30,000 Sign Petition Opposing Supplement Plans

S13 June 2002

30,000 Sign Petition Opposing Dietary Supplement Plans

Green Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley will today present a petition to parliament containing 30,000 signatures opposing the Government's plans to regulate dietary supplements under a new trans-Tasman agency.

Ms Kedgley will also show media a selection of around 40 dietary supplements presently sold in New Zealand that would become unavailable under the new trans-Tasman regime. Hundreds of supplements will be effected by the proposal.

The Government has just released a discussion document on its plans to enter into a joint Australia-New Zealand authority to regulate dietary supplements and has opened a six week consultation on the proposal.

"The 30,000 signatures on this petition show the outrage and concern that ordinary New Zealanders feel about the Government's plans to hand over the control of dietary supplements to a bureaucracy that will be based in Canberra, set up under Australian law and staffed primarily by Australians."

Ms Kedgley said the Greens were campaigning hard against the Government's plans because the proposal would give up New Zealand's sovereignty and the ability of New Zealanders to make their own decisions in this important area.

"This proposal would seriously limit the choice of New Zealand consumers, put many small New Zealand businesses out of business and place a highly restrictive and unnecessary regime on dietary supplements."

Ms Kedgley said the proposed new agency would have far more sweeping powers than the Australia New Zealand Food Authority. It would have delegated authority to control and regulate every dietary supplement sold in New Zealand, and would be an enforcement and policing agency as well.

"Many New Zealander use a wide range of dietary supplements for a wide range of reasons. There is no reason why choice in this area should be so drastically cut, no reason why businesses should not continue to sell them and no reason why the choice of New Zealanders should be dictated by an Australian-based body.

"This is a ludicrous proposal which many New Zealanders do not support. The Greens will campaign hard on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of ordinary New Zealanders who believe their choice in this area should be preserved."

Sue Kedgley, and a range of supplements, will be in her office at 12.30pm.


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