Press Statement for Distribution
Natural Healthcare and Therapeutic Products Pan-Industry Meeting
Held at the Auckland Conference Centre
NZ NATURAL HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY REJECTS TRANS TASMAN PROPOSALS
The Auckland Conference Centre recently hosted a New Zealand wide meeting of stake holders in the debate raging about new Trans-Tasman Therapeutic Goods regulations proposed by Government and regulator attempts to harmonise the New Zealand Natural Healthcare industry with that of Australia's prescriptive and costly [GA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) sysyem.
Speakers included MP Sue Kedgley; Citizens for Health Choices and INPA Chairman, Naturopath Gary Mabey; Author Dr Toni Jeffreys; and US Motivationalist/Health Activist G.S. Eagle-Oden.
Attendees, including ACT Deputy Leader Ken Shirley and Alliance MP Philida Bunkle, unanimously opposed proposed legislation that would reduce consumer choice, add huge costs to widely used health supplements, even where no evidence of risk existed and eliminate traditional Maori medicines.
Medical and business analyst, Ron Law presented a paper identifying the risk profile of natural healthcare and therapeutic products, foods and pharmaceutical drugs. The evidence of risks associated with the consumption of medicinal drugs in New Zealand amounted to more than 100,000 times that of natural healthcare products, which are less of a risk than being killed by lightening or killed by a wasp sting. Even foods are more than 900 times as likely to kill someone than a year's consumption of natural healthcare products.
"Why would you want to introduce overly prescriptive regulations that add enormous costs to industry and consumers where there is essentially no risk"? asked Law. "It simply doesn't make sense -- at least not on the available evidence."
Chairman of the meeting, Bill Bracks, Chairman of Comvita (NZ) Ltd (07-573 7000) in taking a vote from the 80 representatives present said "In the light of the unanimous rejection of the proposed model for a Trans-Tasman Therapeutic Goods Agency it is imperative the Government be made aware of the situation. We do not need another Ansett imposed on our industry and New Zealand consumers."
The meeting confirmed the formation of an informal pan-industry group to co-ordinate activities and formulate strategical policies designed to inform Government and monitor Ministry of Health regulation teams in the formation of new legislation.
There was spontaneous applause when Ron Law read out a recently released statement from the Ministry of Health's own (Medsafe) website disqualifying the Minister of Health's statutory expert Medicines Classification Committee from regulating herbs because, "members are not skilled in the field of herbal medicines."
This is the first time in the world that a regulatory body has acknowledge its own incompetence in regulating the natural healthcare and therapeutic products industry.