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Govt suffers setback on trans-Tasman plans

10 February 2005

Govt suffers setback on trans-Tasman plans

The Australian and New Zealand governments' decision to delay the establishment of a trans-Tasman agency to regulate dietary supplements is a victory for consumers and commonsense, Green MP Sue Kedgley said.

"This is a major setback for the Government's plan to handover control of our dietary supplements industry to an Australian-based agency. Hopefully, it will be a fatal blow," Ms Kedgley, Green Health Spokesperson.

"The Government signed a Treaty which guaranteed the agency would come into effect on July 1 this year, and it promised the Australian government it would have the legislation through by Christmas last year. Now it is admitting defeat and acknowledging that it cannot muster the numbers in Parliament to get the legislation through in time."

The Trans-Tasman Therapeutic Goods Agency (TTTGA) would be an Australia-based agency which regulated all New Zealand pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, and medical devices.

Ms Kedgley said the Government appeared to be getting increasingly desperate about its inability to get legislation establishing the agency through the House.

"It is resorting to desperation tactics and is calling a meeting today with selected industry representatives to try to claim that the Government has overwhelming industry support for its proposal.

"In fact, the Government has refused to meet with the hundreds of small dietary supplements businesses that would be driven out of business by the TTTGA, and who are therefore implacably opposed to it.

"Resorting to these sorts of tactics only underlines the Government's desperation on this issue and inability to get momentum for its proposal.

"The overwhelming majority of consumers and the industry don't want to hand over our sovereignty to an off-shore agency which has a reputation for being draconian and excessively bureaucratic and for imposing huge and unnecessary compliance costs on the dietary supplements industry."

ENDS

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