Put Health before Wealth and STOP the New Zealand Natural Health Products Bill
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The New Zealand Natural Health Products Bill is due for its final hearing any day now. The substantive and imminent threat posed by the Bill has been recognised by New Zealand First, ACT and the Maori Party and, now, even formerly supportive stakeholders are realising the damage that will be wrought on both the natural health sector and the broader economy were the Bill to progress.
If the Bill goes through the ability of individual consumers to take responsibility for their own health and make their own decisions from a range of effective and safe products and therapies will be seriously diminished, if not destroyed.
The Natural Health Alliance aims to ensure regulations effectively protect consumers while still encouraging innovation and accountability. To achieve this we need to STOP the proposed Natural Health Products Bill and work on bringing the current dietary supplement regulations up to date.
To protect the consumer and enable practitioners and businesses to carry out their proper function without monopoly control from the pharmaceutical industry, good regulations are vital. Poor regulations though can do just the opposite.
If natural health regulations don't set the proper framework innovation within the natural health industry is stifled while only a handful of large conformists prosper. We must ensure that the regulations work for us and not against us and they safeguard both consumers and the industry against future manipulation.
Change has to occur at the regulatory level to ensure all businesses are able to operate in a fair and reasonable way without double standards or pharmaceutical bias. There needs to be controls on bureaucracy to ensure that large companies do not achieve monopolies by regulation. There also needs to be a system that encourages innovation and demands accountability.
To act as an effective lobbying force the natural health industry needs a single umbrella entity that has its only focus to act as a regulatory watchdog without hidden agendas. The Natural Health Alliance works closely with many other groups both in New Zealand and around the world to address these issues.
Together, we can put health before wealth, uphold traditional values, be open to new ideas that strengthen and protect our sector, and preserve natural, holistic and traditional healthcare for all New Zealanders.
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