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Moratorium, Analysis of New Party Pills Urged

NEW ZEALAND DRUG FOUNDATION MEDIA RELEASE

31 March 2008

DRUG FOUNDATION URGES MORATORIUM AND INDEPENDENT ANALYSIS OF NEW PARTY
PILLS

On the eve of the BZP party pill ban, the New Zealand Drug Foundation
has called for a voluntary moratorium on sales of all new non-BZP party
pills until an independent analysis has been carried out to determine
their risk.

>From tomorrow, it will be illegal to manufacture and sell BZP-based
party pills, and a six-month amnesty is in place for personal possession
and use. It is expected that the party pill industry will introduce
non-BZP products from this date. New BZP-free products are already
being advertised online by some retailers.

However, the Drug Foundation warns there is no information about what is
in the new products or their health effects, and that consumers' health
could be severely compromised. The foundation is calling for retailers
to voluntarily withhold the new products from sale until an independent
analysis is undertaken to determine exactly what is in them, and whether
there are any health risks from the various ingredients.

"This is the same risky situation we had when BZP pills were first
introduced. We don't know what's in them, we don't know their effects
and so we aren't able to provide good health and safety advice to
consumers. We cannot rely on the industry to provide unbiased
information," said Ross Bell, Drug Foundation Executive Director.

"These new products have zero regulations over them. This means they
can be sold from anywhere, including the corner dairy, to anyone,
including people under 18 years old. There is no requirement for the
products to have health and safety labelling, so consumers won't have a
clue what's in them or their possible health effects. Once more, the
law is lagging behind what is happening in the marketplace."

The Drug Foundation is asking the government's independent Expert
Advisory Committee on Drugs to review the new products and provide
advice on how they should be regulated.

The Drug Foundation will recommend to the EACD that these products be
classified as "Restricted Substances" under the Misuse of Drugs Act,
which provides controls such as a sales restriction to people over 18
years and bans some advertising.

"While we're in this state of regulatory limbo, we urge retailers to
show some responsibility and postpone sales of the new pills until an
independent review is complete and made available to the public."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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