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Social tonics industry welcomes regulation


18 November 2004

Social tonics industry welcomes regulation, clamps down on irresponsible players

Members of the Social Tonics Association of New Zealand (STANZ) today welcomed the Government’s move to regulate the sale of energy pills as a timely and sensible step.

The Government’s Supplementary Order Paper to the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill will prohibit under law the sale of these energy products to people under 18 and set conditions around their production, marketing and labeling.

STANZ spokesperson Matt Bowden said the industry had already formed an association and developed an industry code of practice, but Government regulation was required to ensure that the industry was properly controlled.

Mr Bowden said STANZ was very concerned at recent revelations that products were being sold over the counter in Christchurch with no packaging, labeling or dosage recommendations.

“The Government’s SOP to the Misuse of Drugs Act will put an end to this dangerous practice, and restrict the availability of substances like BZP to adults. This is precisely the regulation that STANZ has been lobbying the Government to adopt.”

Mr Bowden said he hoped the SOP would go through the parliamentary process quickly.

“It is important that the sale of these products is properly controlled and regulated. Like all sorts of products – coffee for instance – these are not suitable for children.

“However, used by adults according to the recommended dosage, these products are valuable as a safe and legal alternative to dangerous illegal drugs,” he said.

“New Zealand’s leading drug advisory body, the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs, has examined these products and found no grounds to ban them, instead recommending a fourth schedule to the Misuse of Drugs Act which would allow regulation.”

Mr Bowden said that as these energy products have become increasingly available there has been a decrease in the use of illegal drugs such as P, particularly in the dance party community.

“These products have an important role to play in keeping people off addictive and dangerous drugs and we are committed to continuing our work with Government, the Ministry of Health and the EACD to quickly control their sale and stamp out less than responsible operators in the industry.”

Mr Bowden said around five million of these products have been sold in New Zealand over the last five years with no lasting adverse effects.

ENDS

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