Loading... Please wait...

Natural Wellness Blog

Natural health products bill quietly scrapped

Posted by

Natural health products bill quietly scrapped

A bill designed to regulate the natural health products industry has been quietly withdrawn from Parliament before its third reading.

The Natural Health and Supplementary Products Bill was introduced 2011 by former Minister of Health, Dr Jonathan Coleman, and was intended to establish regulation for natural health products, including requiring evidence of efficacy.

In May this year, Winston Peters called the bill an “embarrassment” and said it was a bureaucratic double-up of a solution looking for a problem which would kneecap exporters.

“Worse, it seems that pressure for it has come from across the Tasman and we need to tell the Aussies to naff off,” he said.

The bill, which lapsed after Parliament dissolved, was not reinstated this week.

Chair of consumer advocacy group Society for Science Based Health Care, Mark Hanna, said the bill would have helped fill holes in legislation which exposed consumers to misleading health claims.

“If you look at the legislation it looks like it should address this but in reality, it hasn’t. These products which the bill was going to address are effectively unregulated.”

The society, which believes consumers have the right to make informed decisions about their healthcare, works to counter what they believe are misleading or unsubstantiated health claims. They make submissions on legislation and codes, and make complaints.

Currently there are three bodies to complain to, however, natural health products often fall through the cracks.

The Advertising Standards Authority can uphold complaints and ask advertisers to remove misleading claims but - as a self-regulatory body - is unable to enforce its rulings.

Complaints can be made to Medsafe under the Medicines Act. Medsafe has the ability to enforce actions but does not act on every complaint. Complaints regarding low-risk items often go unaddressed.

The Commerce Commission also has the ability to enforce rulings under the Fair Trading Act, but like Medsafe does not act on every complaint.

The proposed natural health products bill set clear guidelines for natural and supplementary products and included penalties for non-compliance ranging between $50,000 and $500,000.

Hanna said he was surprised at the withdrawal of the bill as there had been no communication around it.

“I still want the bill to pass and if it’s not going to be reinstated I want there to be something else to fill that gap. Whether that is a kick up the bum so the existing legislation gets enforced more on these products or a different bill. I don’t really mind as long as we end up with something that will do the job.”

Health Products NZ corporate affairs director Alison Quesnel was also surprised - and disappointed.

“Nobody knew, even the Ministry of Health weren’t aware of it. Nobody knew except whoever made the decision to withdraw the bill from the parliamentary lists.”

Health Products NZ is a national industry organisation representing natural products.

“It was a very good-looking bill. We’ve been trying to get legislation through for 16 years and this was the closest we’ve ever been to a solution.”

Quesnel said New Zealand is one of the only countries without a modern regulatory system and the legislation would have enabled export, not “kneecap it” as Peters had said.

“Going into China, which is by far the biggest export market, we’ve been told by Chinese that it would be so much better and easier for us if we had a modern regulatory system their government could easily recognise,” Quesnel said.

The value of exports was estimated by the organisation in 2014 to be $285 million and overall value to the economy estimated to be $1.4 billion per year.

Quesnel said she had been contacting politicians since hearing the bill had been scrapped.

“We’ve written and asked for an explanation. Clearly our next steps will be to follow through with that, and find out which party in the coalition wanted it withdrawn and why, and what we can do to change their mind.”

The bill's withdrawal does not form part of the published coalition agreement.

View Comments

Arborvitae is Back!

The Ministry for Primary Industries are now allowing the much anticipated product 'Arborvitae' back into New Zealand after it was found that the product contained a level of honey that is prohibited unless it has been heat-treated to ensure potential bugs are destroyed.The Australian company have complied with these regulations and are now specifically manufacturing this [...]

Read More »

Arthritis sufferers devastated pain reliever not allowed in NZ

John Hawkins Arthritis sufferer Thelma Buck, of Invercargill, is devasted a pain relief product has been blocked from entering New Zealand.An Australian-made supplement which has given some arthritis sufferers in Southland a new lease on life has been blocked from entering the country, devastating users.The liquid supplement, Arborvitae, is marketed as an arthritis pain reliever and health supplement across [...]

Read More »

Arborvitae New Zealand - The Science

The ScienceArborvitae Natural Supplements – Active IngredientsWhat is the basis of the effectiveness of Arborvitae’s supplements?Arborvitae’s supplements contain natural plant extracts of French Maritime Pine Bark extract (Pycnogenol), enzyme Papain (from Papaya), Aloe Vera and honey. This unique formulation of natural ingredients is based on years of research into the impact of inflammation in the human body and provides a potent [...]

Read More »

Is Vitamin C Cancer Therapy Effective?

In the modern age, the concept of preventing and treating disease through nutrition has fallen by the wayside. What was once medicine has been relegated to (at best), an adjunct in favor of chemical-based pharmaceuticals, which are now the accepted standard of medical treatment. But a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Science reiterates [...]

Read More »

Camu Camu Berry

Vitamin C | Antioxidants | Amino AcidsThe scientific name is technically Myrciaria dubia but most of the world knows it as camu camu, or cacari, depending on where in the world you happen to be. The Camu Camu tree grows on riverbanks commonly found in South America, in Peru and Brazil. The fruit is [...]

Read More »

Raintree Nutrition, Inc.

Raintree Nutrition, Inc., has been involved in researching, developing, importing and marketing non-timber rainforest products with special emphasis on the important medicinal plants of the Amazon Rainforest. From 1996 to 2012, Raintree Nutrition, Inc. sold the rainforest herbal supplements shown here. These products and proprietary formulas were developed by Leslie Taylor, President and managing director of Raintree Nutrition, Inc.. Ms. Taylor has [...]

Read More »

What is Fulvic Acid? By Dr. Dan Nuzum

Fulvic Acid with active carbon and high molecular oxygen is one of the most powerful antioxidants and cleansers in the world.What are Fulvic Acids?Fulvic acids are soluble in both alkaline and acidic solutions. A short chain active carbon and high molecular oxygen is one of the most crucial carbon factors in the reversal and prevention [...]

Read More »

What is Fulvic Acid?

Fulvic is an active component of humus; the sweet-smelling organic goodness that creates healthy soil.Fulvic nourishes plant life by dissolving inorganic minerals (like iron) into super-charged molecules and transportingthese to plant cells, allowing plants to extract the maximum nourishment from the soil around them.HOW DOES IT WORK?The structure of Fulvic means it can easily penetrate living cellsto deliver an ‘electrolyte charge’; supplying [...]

Read More »