Editor’s note: The text below was contributed by Dr. Guy Hatchard from the Natural Foods Commission.
It provides additional information about the Natural Health and Supplementary Products Bill.
Please note that the NZ Health Trust has asked people to write to government MPs about the Natural Health and Supplementary Products bill and if you are interested in doing this (it would be very much appreciated if you would) there is information, including MPs email addresses, at this link.
if you wish to express opposition to the Natural Health and Supplementary Products Bill, you may find the information supplied by Dr Guy Hatchard to be useful when composing emails.
UPDATE: Please note that since these documents were written, a new supplementary order paper on the bill has been produced. This document may be found at the NZ Parliamentary website at this link http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/legislation/sops/51DBHOH_SOP68605_1/natural-health-and-supplementary-products-bill
Additional information (from the Natural Foods Commission) may also be downloaded at the links below. (Please note that these documents were also written prior to the release of the new Supplementary Order Paper,)
WHAT DOES THE NZ NATURAL HEALTH AND SUPPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS BILL SAY?
A close examination of the wording of the Bill reveals a draconian regulatory regime that violates our human rights and goes beyond the scope of the law in every other country in the world today.
1) WHAT WILL BE REGULATED? (Clause 5)
The Act will regulate any product that when consumed:
Maintains or promotes health or wellness
Provides nutritional support
Maintains the structure or function of the body
Provides vitamins or minerals
2) WHO WILL BE REGULATED (Clause 35)
Every provider of natural health products must apply and pay annual fees to register their products. The scale of fees published at this stage are beyond the means of many small businesses
3) WHAT WILL BE REQUIRED BEFORE REGISTRATION (Clause 13)
Rigorous scientific evidence of efficacy will be required if a product claims to benefit any disease, disorder, condition, ailment, or defect.
4) WHO WILL DO THE REGULATION (Clause 10)
A new Authority appointed by the Minister of Health
5) WHAT WILL BE PROHIBITED (Clauses 11/12/16/20/21)
Any ingredient that does not appear on the Authority’s approved list of ingredients
Any product that the Authority thinks may pose a risk for any reason they consider to be relevant
Any product that the Authority judges to have been sold with an unsubstantiated health claim
6) WILL TRADITIONAL MEDICINE BE EXEMPTED (Clauses 12/13)
Evidence of safe traditional use will only be sufficient for low risk conditions, such as indigestion
7) WILL YOU BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE HEALTH BENEFITS TO OTHERS (Clause 40C)
Any person may not publish, send, email, or communicate in any way in either written, spoken, pictorial, or printed form any health benefit claim that suggests directly or by implication that a natural health product can assist in the treatment of any health condition.
8) WILL THERE BE PENALTIES (Clause 40)
up to $100,000 and five years in jail for an individual
up to $500,000 for a company
9) HOW WILL THIS AFFECT YOU?
- a) Many products that are in reality just healthy foods will now be banned (see 1)
- b) Costs of natural products will rise and small businesses will cease operations (see 2)
- c) Healthy products will be controlled as if they are pharmaceuticals with testing requirements that only large corporations could possibly afford (see 3)
- d) Some appointees at the Ministry of Health will regulate all your health choices (see 4)
- e) The NZ list currently proposed and published by the Ministry of Health excludes thousands of traditional herbs and minerals that have been used safely for millennia(see 5)
- f) Traditional medicines will disappear as has happened in Australia and many thousands of people who rely on natural medicine to maintain their health will be disadvantaged (see 6)
- g) Providers will not be able to speak about or advertise the health benefits of their products, nor may anyone discuss them publicly. This is a major curtailment of our freedom of speech (see 7)
- h) Natural health practitioners will be stopped from practicing through fear of punishment. The only health consultations available will be with GPs who know little about natural remedies (see 8)
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this Bill will not be enforced.
People with extreme agendas will ensure that it is enforced and they will have the law on their side unless you act now.
Contact your MP now to express your outrage before the Bill becomes law.
Website editor’s note: If you would like to write to government MPs on this issue, there is information to help you at the link below:
NB: The NZ Journal of Natural Medicine regularly covers issues relating to freedom of choice in healthcare. If you are not already a reader or subscriber, please visit www.naturalmedicine.net.nz/shop/ to access free samples of our current issue and back issues or purchase printed copies or a subscription.
The featured image used with this post is courtesy of TeddyBear[Picnic] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net