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Kiwis will suffer from ban on Chinese Medicine

NEW ZEALAND ASSOCIATION OF CHINESE MEDICAL HERBALISTS - NZACMH

MEDIA RELEASE

Kiwis will suffer in new bill that bans Chinese Medicine

Tuesday 12 Dec 2006

Today the ANZTPA bill will have it's first reading in parliament. These new laws aim to regulate the natural health products industry. Instead they favour the commercial interests of the establishment and aim to restrict and outlaw much of the flourishing complementary health industry. With our failing health system, many kiwis are turning to centuries old medicine and paying privately for their healthcare. This new system will outlaw many herbal products currently in use, despite no deaths and very few adverse reactions. As a result many kiwis will be driven back to the sinking ship of the public health system.

Traditional Chinese Medicine has developed for at least two millenia with over 10,000 different natural products prescribed for every ailment under the sun. In the last decade kiwis have turned to it in droves with an estimated four-fold increase in the number of practising Chinese Herbalists in the country. This takes the load off the public health system but also eats into the profits of the pharmaceutical and other medical companies. The risk to the public from trained practitioners is very low. However there is still some risk and we support the concept of regulating the industry. We DO NOT support regulations that attempt to kill the industry and laws that will in fact increase the risk to public health.

The system is already failing in Australia. Chinese herbal products that do pass the regulations end up with labels in English that list different ingredients to those that the manufacturers have written in Chinese. High Quality FDA (Federal Drug Administration) approved herbal products currently imported from the USA will be effectvely banned. This has created an únder the table' market in Australia with an estimated 30% of all Chinese herbs now sold in Melbourne outside the law. This black market encourages the use of dangerous products, increasing public health risk. Asians are the fastest growing population group in the counrtry and China our biggest potential market. The NZACMH fails to understand how these racist laws will benefit the people of New Zealand.

Ends

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