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Monday, February 20, 2012

How to send in a submission on The Natural Health Products Bill in just a few minutes




SUBMISSIONS
On The Natural Health Products Bill
Submissions are due by 24 Feb 2012

We have been getting quite a few enquiries about The Natural Health Products Bill
The more people who make a submission the more likely the government is to respond to our concerns.

Just so things are clear, there are two bills that have been causing public concern The Food Bill, and The Natural Health Products Bill. Although they are separate bills they both apply to many of the same things because the line between a food and a supplement is blurred.

The Food Bill was a 378 page bill that was introduced to parliament in 2010. Very few people were aware of it and there were only 66 written submissions on it. It is about to go up for it’s second reading very soon and unless there is a public outcry, it could soon be law.

To find out more about its dangers and what else you can do about it, go to: NZ Food Security   


The Natural Health Products Bill is a 38 page bill that aims to regulate vitamins, minerals, herbs etc as a different class of products, distinct from foods or pharmaceutical medicines. Like the Food Bill this is being rushed through, but this bill is one that we can still make submissions on for a few more days. Submissions on the Natural Health Products Bill are due by 24 Feb 2012
Both bills are long documents that are deliberately vague in their wording. The Natural Health Products Bill is what is known as a “thin" bill. The current Natural Health Products Bill also gives wide powers to whoever is charged with administering it.
A bill that is long and vague is very difficult to make a coherent submission on. The biggest danger of these bills is not what is actually said, but what is not said. In the Natural Health Products Bill, the lack of detail and wide powers given to those charged with administering it means that this bill could later be used or twisted by the government to mean almost anything.
A key aim of The Natural Health Products Bill is to establish a Natural Health Products Regulator within the Ministry of Health, and make it a legal requirement to apply for a licence to manufacture natural health products in NZ. This will certainly create increased costs for manufacturers, distributors and consumers, and reduce the range of products available.
It’s important for the future of natural health products in NZ that as many people as possible make a submission on this bill, and if the government are going to write a long vague bill we may as well write a large number of vague submissions.
Only 66 submissions on the Food Bill was a poor result, though not really surprising given that the bill was incomprehensible and very few people knew about it. But we are aware of the Natural Health Products Bill, and the key thing here is not what to say in your submission; it’s the sheer number of submissions received. Our raw milk submissions numbered over 1600 which was pretty good – this is an even larger issue, so get a submission sent in urgently.



How to send in a submission in just a few minutes – here’s a sample submission template
(this is a very short version – we have a longer one onlin, and remember to personalise this a little to make it unique)


To the Health Select Committee, NZ House of Representatives

Re: Proposed Natural Health Products Bill



I am a natural health products consumer and I am seriously concerned about aspects of the proposed bill.

I request that the bill incorporates the proposals developed by the NZ Health Trust, consumer groups and NZ natural health industry groups. I am concerned that the tabled Natural Health Products Bill in its current form does not include most of these proposals.

I am concerned that the current proposal for the NZ natural health products industry to have to bear most of the costs of the Natural Health Products Regulator will cause an increase in the price of natural health products that would make many natural health products unaffordable. High compliance costs for businesses that manufacture or distribute natural health products also have the potential to drive many small companies out of business and this would lead to decreased choice and less competition within the natural health products market in NZ.

I believe that it is important that natural health products in NZ continue to be regulated by the NZ Natural Health Products Regulator, if NZ and Australia develop a joint agency to regulate pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices

[If you like, add statements here about how you and your family have benefited from the use of natural health products.]

Yours sincerely,

[Your name]






Ian Gregson & Deb Gully
Wellington Chapter
Weston A Price Foundation
 
12 Queens Drive
Kilbirnie
Wellington 6022
New Zealand
 






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