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Advertising BZP pills on TV, radio, print illegal

Hon Jim Anderton

Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity
Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Forestry, Associate Minister of Health, Associate Minister for Tertiary Education

Progressive Leader

16 March 2006 Media Statement

Be Warned! Advertising BZP pills on TV, radio and in print media is illegal

Jim Anderton Associate Minister of Health and Chair of the Ministerial Committee on Drug Policy responded today to the party pill advertisement in the Capital Times newspaper.

“I am advised by the Ministry of Health that the ad appears to be in clear breach of the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act 2005. In such a situation Ministry enforcement staff, once they learn of such a breach, would warn and advise the advertiser and publisher of the breach and seek future compliance with the Act," Jim Anderton said today.

"If the advertiser breaches the Act they could be prosecuted with a penalty of a fine up to $5,000 in the case of an individual or $10,000 in the case of a body corporate.
The publisher or broadcaster could also be prosecuted under the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act or as a party to the commission of an offence.
"Besides the advertising restrictions, the legislation passed last year only allows the sale of BZP to people over the age of 18. It is prohibited to offer such products as part of a give-away or incentive, for example two for the price of one.

"Other possible legal avenues that can be taken include where there is a therapeutic claim made, in which case prosecutions under the Medicines Act may be possible. If a misleading or deceptive claim is made, the Commerce Commission would also be interested.

"If the content of the advertising is of concern then the Advertising Standards Complaints Board would be the body to approach if a person believes any of the content breaches the advertising codes published by the Advertising Standards Authority," Jim Anderton said.

The Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act 2005 can be located at www.legislation.govt.nz
Advertising Standards Authority www.asa.co.nz has details on the codes.

ENDS

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