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Scott gets go-ahead for inquiry


Scott gets go-ahead for inquiry

Dr Lynda Scott - National Health Spokesperson

A call by National Health spokesperson, Dr Lynda Scott, for a select committee inquiry into a proposed trans-Tasman agency to regulate therapeutic products has got the green light.

“This is the first defeat for the Labour Government since the election. Annette King did not want this inquiry,” says Dr Scott.

The Ministry of Health has been working with its Australian counterpart on a plan to set up a joint agency to regulate the manufacture and distribution of healthcare products, and charge for its services – a move strongly opposed by the supplements industry.

“I wanted the inquiry because I don’t believe there’s any justification for the enormous compliance costs this plan would impose on our dietary supplements industry,” says Dr Scott.

“While some sort of regulation is overdue, the costs around this proposal could send many of New Zealand’s supplements importers, suppliers and manufacturers to the wall.

“There’s simply not enough detail in the agency plan, yet the Government is hell-bent on pushing it through. The Health Ministry admits it doesn’t have enough knowledge about the supplements industry.

Dr Scott has asked the select committee to carry out an independent risk analysis on the use of dietary supplements and alternative medicines, to examine the compliance costs issue and to look at the regulatory regimes in other countries.

“Australia has one of the harshest regulatory environments around this issue, and we must look further afield before making decisions,” she says.

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