Message from Nicola Grace from Health Freedom NZ

You may already have heard that a consultation document to regulate natural products was recently released on the Ministry of Health Website in response to the Natural Products industry and consumer call for a stand alone New Zealand regulatory model for Natural Products, rather than an Australian takeover of our current regulatory body, Medsafe.

We were expecting the discussion document to be based upon the proposed Natural and Traditional Health Products Bill that was prepared in full consultation with Maoridom, Consumers, the NZ Health Trust, and the Natural Health Products Industry over a two year period.

Unfortunately the MoH Consultation Document is diametrically opposed to most of the principals outlined in the proposed Bill and has aptly been labeled the ‘TGA in drag’. It is nothing short of a bureaucratic hood wink.

The bureaucrats appear to have re-instated all of the unacceptable aspects of the TGA and Trans Tasman models that Health Freedom were successful in rejecting, including:

1.    The White List (Napoleonic Law – every natural ingredient to become illegal without a permit).
2.    The power to make up the rules as they go along.
3.    Anything in therapeutic dose be classed as a medicine and therefore regulated as a drug.
4.    Excessive compliance costs that would put most small businesses under, push up the price of natural products, and see the loss of thousands of jobs and products in the industry.
5.    Over the top fines that don’t make sense unless you want to send numerous small businesses to the wall.
6.    Extremely limited claims. The ability to say “may support” will go, replaced by a few extremely low level claims acceptable to the drug industry this proposal seeks to protect.

Here are the details of the document and submission schedule.
https://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexmh/consult-development-natural-health-products-bill-mar10

The MoH is inviting submissions with a short deadline which is 17th May 2010. You may wish to write to them for an extension. Since the full time employed bureaucrats had 18 months to deliberate and come up with this document, it is only fair we the public get at least 90 days.

We are currently liaising with other organisations to formulate a comprehensive strategy and will have a document of the main points of objection to the document that you can use as a reference as soon as we can.

In the mean time if you want continued access to affordable vitamins, minerals and other natural products we suggest that you:

1.    Read the discussion document yourself, highlighting the points you object to with a highlighter pen.
2.    Spread the word – Print this email and give it to your local health food store, natural health practitioner, family and friends.
3.    Begin to plan your submission (again we’ll have our main arguments to you in next few days).
4.    Don’t get hood winked and razzle dazzled by the propaganda that is currently being spread by the media, bureaucrats, bogus science, some members of the medical fraternity and the skeptic activist, Vicky Hide.

We are going to need more than 5,000 submissions made against this document in order to be effective, so everyone who wants continued access to natural products needs to act.

We believe this might well be the last opportunity we have to send a very loud and clear message that the consumers, the bureaucrats pretend they desire to protect, do not need the kind of protection the bureaucrats are offering – protection of pharmaceutical profits over our health.

Please keep an eye on your emails over the next coming days and be on standby in-case we have to mobilize fast. In the mean time please help us spread the word fast.

If anyone wants to talk to me in person please call me on 021 258 7654 between 5pm-7pm week days or Saturday morning 10am-12noon – or text me with your number and I’ll call you.

Thank you
Nicola Grace
Spokeswomen for Health Freedom New Zealand

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