Bill to improve natural health products sector passes first reading

  • Jonathan Coleman
Health

A bill that gives the public assurances about the safety and efficacy of natural health products passed its first reading in Parliament today, says Associate Health Minister Jonathan Coleman.

The Natural Health Products Bill, one of the shared policy initiatives agreed to by the National and Green Parties under a Memorandum of Understanding, gives consumers confidence that the natural health products they buy are safe, and true to label.

‘’For consumers, the benefits of the bill are wide-ranging. They can have confidence the products they are using are safe and the products must hold evidence to support the health benefits claimed by the manufacturer,’’ Dr Coleman says.

‘’The bill will introduce, for the first time in New Zealand, a cost-effective scheme to oversee the estimated $760 million dollar natural health products industry. The additional protections the bill provides for consumers will be widely welcomed.’’

The bill will also provide for a list of prohibited ingredients and an open-ended list of ingredients that can be used in natural health products. A simple process for adding new ingredients to the list of those that can be used is also proposed.

Dr Coleman says the bill contains a three-year transitional period to assist the industry in adjusting to the proposed requirements.