NATURAL PRODUCTS NZ SUPPORTS NEW REGULATIONS FOR THE INDUSTRY
The New Zealand natural products industry welcomes the support of all major parties on the Natural Health & Supplementary Products Bill which passed its second reading on 21 March 2013 with only one vote against.
There are more than 6000 natural health products on sale in New Zealand, and the natural products industry is a significant contributor to the New Zealand economy with earnings in excess of NZ$1billion, making it now larger than the biotechnology and organics industries combined.
Alison Quesnel, Executive Director of Natural Products New Zealand says that the industry has worked with the Government on the development of the proposal for a NZ regulatory system for natural health products for some time.
Although the process is taking longer than anyone in the industry would like as an organisation NPNZ is very much looking forward to the Bill passing its third reading within the latter part of 2013 and we believe it will come into effect mid-2014. We look forward to continuing working with the government on the next level of detail required to develop cost-effective regulations.
NPNZ believes The Natural Health & Supplementary Products Bill will bring benefits to both manufacturers and consumers. Regulation that allows the industry to inform and protect New Zealand customers and at the same time facilitates innovation and export growth, is desperately needed.
Members of NPNZ have a desire for a strong and sensible regulatory scheme that will ensure quality, safety and efficacy for consumers and manufacturers alike. The public can be even more confident that products are safe and are true to what is stated on the label.
The proposed system will also be beneficial to NZ manufacturers in both their domestic and export markets. While most of the manufacturers of natural health supplements in New Zealand already meet stringent regulatory standards enforced by their export markets, having our own internationally recognised regulatory system will facilitate growth in our export industry.
NPNZ believes that the new proposed Bill and following regulations must recognise the low risk nature of natural health products and supplements, and not impose unnecessary cost burdens on our vital industry.
Particular advantages are likely to be:
• A stand-alone unit within the MOH to administer Natural Products
• An internationally recognised GMP system (based on the history of the low-risk of natural products)
• Ability to negotiate regulatory recognition and compatibility with other key markets
• Product exported from NZ will meet the regulatory requirements of the importing country
• An appropriate advertising code and labelling regulations
• Expert Advisory Committees containing members with knowledge and affinity in the natural health sector
• A white list of approved ingredients
• Product registrations via a simple computer based system
• Rationalisation of government auditing authorities
• Suitable adverse reaction, incident reporting and recalls schemes
NPNZ recognises that much work is yet to be done especially in the area of regulation, and believes working closely with the advisory committees will be crucial in ensuring we have a Bill that is inclusive of growers, manufacturers, importers, exporters and research providers.