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Athlete leads Natural Health Product protest

World Champion Athlete leads Natural Health Product protest

Athletics legend Allison Roe and businesswoman Christine Rankin led crowds in a protest against the Government’s plans for natural health products today.

“Natural Health Products helped me set world records,” said Ms Roe addressing the crowd at Parliament. “I need them, as do some 2.6 million New Zealanders who use them regularly.”

“We will fight the Government’s plans which would decimate the local industry, until they put in place a sensible, New Zealand regulatory system,” Ms Roe said. “We are fighting for the consumers who want the freedom to choose.”

As the Therapeutics and Medicines Bill continues to lose popularity with consumers as well as politicians, members of parliament opposed to the Therapeutic Products & Medicines Bill also spoke to protesters at the steps of Parliament

From its onset the Bill has been deeply unpopular and is opposed by National, Maori Party, The Greens and Act. With the declaration of independence by Taito Philip Field and his opposition to the Bill, the government lost its majority for clear passage through a second reading.

The Bill passed its first reading by a narrow majority of one vote when Winston Peters and NZ First voted in favour for the Bill. But now that NZ First MP Peter Brown has convinced his caucus to vote against the Bill while it contains complimentary medicines, the ill-fated legislation looks certain for defeat.

The final select committee report into the Bill is due out in the next few days, and is expected to reflect the deep dissent divisions the Bill has created among Parliamentarians.

“We know the remaining two parties supporting the Bill - Labour and United Future - have had to whip their MP’s hard to keep them in line,” said Dave Sloan of the NZ Health Trust. “It is widely recognised that if passed, this Bill would gut the local industry and be enormously unhelpful to consumers who rely on natural products to keep well.”

Other speakers that addressed the crowd were: Taito Philip Field, Jackie Blue, Hone Harawira, Rodney Hyde and the chair of the Select Committee Shane Ardern.

ENDS

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