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Greens Peddling Snake Oil

Media Release

12 December 2006

Greens Peddling Snake Oil

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has accused the Green party of peddling snake oil and says their deliberate misinformation about the Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill has failed to put the safety of New Zealanders ahead of the interests of the cowboys operating in the medicine industry.

"The situation of an unregulated complementary goods industry was always going to end one way or another. If the joint agency did not proceed, then a local regulatory regime would. The 50 percent subsidy the Joint Agency provides – with New Zealand sovereignty ensured – is an opportunity too good to miss.

"New Zealand First has held several well publicised concerns about the establishment of a joint regulatory agency with Australia, including the issue of sovereignty, and has determinedly worked to have these concerns resolved," said Peters.

"We were not content to see New Zealand confined to the status of an Australian State in any regulatory regime which is the case under the Food Standards Authority. We wanted to ensure that under the proposed regime New Zealand would have equal status with Australia and a range of checks on the new agency held in New Zealand hands, such as having to appear before a select committee.

"The most crucial aspect of this shift is that it has fundamentally altered the way Australia enters its negotiating position on future joint regulatory regimes. No longer will New Zealand settle for anything less than equal status. This is a significant shift and one New Zealand First helped secure.

"The passage of the Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill to select committee provides an opportunity for all interested individuals and groups to make a submission. We trust that they will take the opportunity to be better informed and to voice their concerns.

"The only people who have anything to fear from this are those who are producing or importing dodgy products. It is the cowboys we are after and from a health and safety perspective this is vital.

"Key provisions of the Bill are new and represent the outcome possible. The Greens have always claimed to support the full labelling of products. In this case, however, they have done a populist somersault," concluded Mr Peters.


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