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Minister’s claims of industry support “rubbish”

Minister’s claims of industry support “total rubbish”

Attached is the text of a letter sent earlier this week to Annette King, countering today’s claims that her proposed Trans Tasman Agency has the support of the natural health products sector.

7 February 2005

The Minister of Health

Parliament Buildings

WELLINGTON

Dear Minister

Proposed Joint Trans Tasman Therapeutic Goods Regulator.

The New Zealand Health Trust has recently been made aware that you have arranged a meeting with selected industry representatives at your office on 10 February to discuss the proposed Joint Trans Tasman Therapeutic Goods regulator.

The Trust is also aware that you have told others that the Trust’s representatives have not been invited to this meeting as you view it as “irrelevant”.

More likely you have made this decision as the Trust has been actively opposing the proposal and you wish instead to gather only those who will support you so as to then claim you have ‘industry support”.

We are aware that Medsafe has been working with the remnants of National Natural Products Group & NNFA to regroup & claim total industry representation.

Before you make any attempt to claim to have the support of the New Zealand Natural Health industry please be aware that the Trust has received written support for its position and clear expressions of opposition to the Joint agency from businesses and industry groups representing a major part of the total industry by numbers and value of sales (over $150 million).

These include:

• The Charter of Health Practitioners

• Citizens for Health Choices

• Direct Sellers Association

• Thompsons Nutrition

• Healthy Options Magazine

• Bio Nutrients Ltd

• New Zealand Nutritionals (2004) Ltd – Evan Stewart

• Natures Sunshine Products

• Genesis BioLaboratory Ltd – Steve Parsons

• International Nutritional Products Association – Bruce Murray

• Pacific International Nutrition NZ Ltd

• Rife NZ Ltd – Glen Curd

• Canterbury and Nelson Nutraceuticals Cluster (regulatory task force)

• Natural Health Laboratories & Pharmaceutical Compouding NZ - Mike Cushman

• Market New Zealand Ltd – John Greene

• Mike Godfrey - practitioner

• High Performance Health

• Kiwigel Co Ltd - Hugh Robinson

• NZA (NZ) Ltd

• Waitakere Holdings Ltd

• Osiris Health - David Holden

• Xtend Life Natural Products – Warren Matthews

• Bill Bracks - Comvita

• Strauss Herbs NZ Ltd

• Ron Law – industry consultant

• New Hope Nutrition Ltd – Colin Inkster

• Health & Herbs International Ltd – Gary & Jan Mabey

• Paddy Fahey - practitioner

There are also over 3500 on the NZHT newsletter database covering industry and consumers.

By electing not to involve the Trust or any of the leading objectors at your meeting you cannot claim to be working with industry at large but instead just those who support you and who themselves stand to gain significantly from the agency going ahead.

If you were genuinely interested in helping industry not only would you have involved the Trust in this meeting, but would not have rebuffed the Trust’s efforts on many occasions to meet with you and your officials to work through our concerns in this regard.

It is clear that your only concern remains forcing through this unpopular and damaging proposal without considering the impact on the whole natural health industry and, consequently the New Zealand consumer.

May we point out that the Trust, unlike those companies you intend meeting with on Thursday, has no financial stake in the outcome of this process. For you to dismiss not only the Trust but all those bodies we speak for, as irrelevant, merely highlights your disregard for anything that does not serve the Government’s political agenda.

Yours faithfully

NEW ZEALAND HEALTH TRUST


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