Stores Support Campaign Against Aussie Rules
HEALTH FOOD STORES SUPPORT CAMPAIGN AGAINST AUSSIE RULES --
BLACKOUT DAY: WEDNESDAY 10 DECEMBER
Health food stores across the country will “black out” products endangered by proposed Treaty with Australia to impose draconian rules on herbs, vitamins and minerals.
On Wednesday 10 December health food retailers will decorate their stores in black and cover supplement sections with black drapes to demonstrate the disastrous effects of the proposed Trans-Tasman Therapeutic Goods Agency.
Health Minister Annette King is signing a Treaty with Australia on Wednesday to set up a new agency with Australia that would regulate herbs, vitamins and minerals – despite opposition from the entire Health Select Committee of the New Zealand Parliament.
On Tuesday [editors: 9 December], Parliament's Health Select Committee unanimously agreed that dietary supplements should be regulated in a separate category from medicine – unlike the proposal that the Government proposes to commit itself to on Wednesday.
Health store retailers are concerned that unnecessary restrictions and red tape will drive up supplement prices and force many products off the market -- reducing product lines and thus limiting their customers’ choices.
Australians would dominate the proposed Agency: three of the five Board members will be Australian residents, the Board will be established under Australian laws, and the Australian Minister of Health has final sign-off on all appointments.
Australian regulations on dietary supplements are among the most restrictive in the world.
The national lobby group Citizens for Health Choices is organizing Blackout Day to raise public awareness about the dangers of the proposed agency.
The major opposition political parties – ACT, Greens, United Future, National and New Zealand First – have all announced policies compatible with CFHC’s position.
Joint Co-coordinator Gary Mabey says “This proposal will increase costs and decrease choice of supplements for New Zealand consumers, with no improvement in consumer safety.”
“Dozens of New Zealand supplement businesses are threatened. Manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers will all face cost increases, and that could mean hundreds of their employees’ jobs are at risk too. The industry could be facing multi-million dollar losses as a result of this regime.”