Website editor’s note: At the link below you can read the latest press release about the Natural Health Products bill by Dr. Guy Hatchard. (Previous contributions by Dr. Hatchard may be found on this website by using the search option.)
Press Release, 10 May 2016:
The Natural Health Products Bill: An Extraordinary Assault on Healthy Food The Natural Health Products Bill is set to cause confusion in the food market place. Dr Guy Hatchard who is preparing a legal challenge to the Bill, advises that ambiguities between the Food Act, the Medicines Act, the Dietary Supplements Regulations and the Natural Health Products Bill
will cause confusion in the healthy food market place and lead to litigation.
Since the food bill precludes any health claim being made for a food and the NHP Bill by definition will be regulating any product/food claiming to be healthy, the effect of the Bill will be to ensure that any healthy food/product will be regulated while any unhealthy food can continue to be sold free of
Why will tobacco, sugar, suspect food additives, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and highly processed non-nutritious foods all escape the Natural Health Products Bill, while healthy remedies and common foods such as Aloe Vera, Cardamon, Betel Nut, Neem, Mustard, Tea, Coconut, Almond, Castor Oil, Tamarind, Valerian, and Grape will all be regulated and effectively taxed by an army of civil servants at the Ministry of Health? The Therapeutic Goods Authority in Australia, which as a similar role to the Authority proposed under the NHP Bill, has an annual
budget of $170 million which is paid through levies on the industry, who also have to pay additional costs well in excess of this to meet the regulations. All this cost will be ultimately borne by the NZ consumer and will push up the cost of healthy foods and products while leaving the cost of unhealthy food unaffected. How ill-advised is that?
The Government is planning to tax and restrict healthy food and products which will encourage consumption of unhealthy foods. All this vast regulatory over reach is being introduced for no reason that the government has been able to substantiate. There is vague talk of protecting the public from risk but no evidence of risk from healthy foods has been presented by the government.
In fact it is the other way around, there is a huge body of evidence that unhealthy foods are contributing to an epidemic of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer. These huge proven risks are being ignored, while the Government regulates a sector where there has been no evidence of any risk and a great deal of published research of benefits.
So why is this happening? I made a presentation in the late 90’s to the Ministry of Health Committee on new health initiatives concerning a well researched natural method to improve general health which is supported by the NIH in USA. I presented published studies from private health insurers and the Canadian health system which recorded a 50% reduction in doctor visits and reduced incidence of a wide range of diseases including heart disease, our number one killer.
After the talk I was taken aside by the committee chairman and politely informed NZ doctors would never adopt this because it would reduce their income. Is this is an isolated attitude? Unfortunately no, read new best selling book “The Prime” by Dr Kulreet Chaudhary, a renowned San Diego
Neurologist who reports the same reaction from her colleagues when she found her patients recovered using the same natural methods I was advocating.
Viewed in this light, it seems that the NHP Bill could be a perverse and misguided attempt by some medical professionals, health bureaucrats, and pharmaceutical advocates to protect their financial interests by stifling alternative approaches to health care which would benefit everyone.
There are sound scientific reasons to oppose this absurd, out-dated, and unfair Bill.
Dr Hatchard is formerly director for the Natural Product Industry sector at Genetic ID. Genetic ID is a global food testing company.
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