Debate Over Trans-Tasman Regulation of Therapeutic Products in New Zealand Continues

According to an article in the New Zeland Herald, and supported by political party announcements and association press releases, a possibility exists that New Zealand's minority government will not be able to pass legislation endorsing the new treaty with Australia which would set up a joint agency to control therapeutic products.

All parties except for the governing Labour and the Progressive Coalition have voiced strong opposition, while expressing support for yesterday's tabled Health Select Committee report which suggested a strengthening of New Zealand's regulatory environment rather than joint regulation. The report also suggested pushing for a Recognition Agreement with Australia.

Treaty text can be found at:

Health food retailers are showing their opposition by “blacking out” products endangered by the proposed Treaty with Australia. Retailers are decorating their stores in black and covering supplement sections with black drapes to demonstrate the disastrous effects of the proposed Trans-Tasman Therapeutic Goods Agency.

Health Minister Annette King has been under serious criticism from opposition parties for not waiting for the committees report and for what they have described as a 'bypass of democracy'. Several of the larger dietary supplement interests in New Zealand have however expressed support for the proposal. Minister King has stated that everyone knew that the government's intent, as far back as 1996, had been to push for joint regulation, and that once the details are established, many of the Health Committees recommendations will, in fact, be followed.

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