Why the Urgent Passing of the Therapeutic Products Bill

Therapeutic Products
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The Therapeutic Products Bill Passed

Despite strong objections by the vast majority of New Zealanders to the passage of the Therapeuatic Products Bill as it stood, with the inclusion of Natural Health Products, the New Zealand government passed it under urgency.

According to the announcement by the Minister of Health, Dr Ayesha Verrall, the Therapeutic Products Bill will “better protect, promote and improve the health of New Zealanders”. We can be assured “about the safety and quality of therapeutic products”, providing “fit for purpose regulation of medical devices and cell, gene and tissue therapies”.

Apparently it will “also be the first time New Zealand has comprehensive risk-proportionate regulation in place for natural health products”.  Most provisions in the Bill will come into force in mid to late 2026, with the establishment of a new, independent regulator to oversee the regime. Exemptions are in place for for small scale natural health product manufacturers and obligations for rongoā are removed.

Urgency?

What exactly was the urgency? Was it the multitude of excess deaths New Zealand has seen in the last two years? Was it the increasing number of disabled and injured New Zealanders? Was this bill passed because the rush to vaccinate the population has turned into a disaster of covid vaccine injury and death?

The truth is that successive governments have been trying to pass a bill that would see the regulation of natural products move from Dietary Supplements Regulations 1985 and the Food Act 2014 to a bill that encompasses harmful products such as gene therapies and pharmaceuticals, for some years.

While we concur strongly that pharmaceuticals and gene therapies need to come under significantly more scrutiny independent of government and industry than they currently do, (especially the covid-19 injections), placing natural products in the same category underlies the arrogance of this government. Not only are natural products deemed to be unsafe by the nature of this bill, but placing them in the same category as gene products minimises the potential harm of gene products and other pharmaceuticals. The latter need long-term detailed, unbiased scrutiny, while the vast majority of natural products have centuries or millenia of safe use.

Of all the urgent actions that need to be taken, lumping natural products with pharmaceuticals in the ill-advised therapeutics products bill does not appear to be top of the list. Not only were 97% of the 16,500 submissions opposed to this bill, but we would state, without a flicker of hyperbole, that New Zealanders care a lot more about the cost of living, unscientific education proposals, the attacks on women and harms to children by the “trans” agenda and the actual racism that is in this country, not to mention the fast erosion of free speech, than they do about the miniscule risk of potential harms from vitamins.

Who exactly is the New Zealand government serving? Not the people of New Zealand if 97% argued against this bill in its current form. Even the usually mute and compliant National and Act parties voted against it. It is clear that New Zealanders have had enough of the government interfering in the affairs of its citizens. We are tired of been “kept safe”. So safe that we may find it difficult to access natural health products and real food at all, let alone at reasonable prices.

Despite the argument that access to natural products will not require a prescription, the recent example of medicinal CBD is all too clear in our minds. The cost of the plant compound is now exorbitant and only legally available on prescription.Now small suppliers have suffered, most consumers are unable to afford medicinal CBD and if they are, they have to visit their GP who may not have an up-to-date view of the risks and benefits of CBD.

We can see where the Therapeutic Products bill is heading.

If supplements end up requiring a prescription, medical education will need an massive overhaul and will need to include the study of nutrition which should make up far more of the curriculum than pharmaceutical. Has the government considered this in their rush to pass a bill that will affect both nutrients and pharmaceuticals?

The International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA)

According to this article by Dr Guy Hatchard, ICMRA of which Medsafe is a member, is trying to restrict herbs and medicinal plants while at the same time approving synthetic copies of these very same plants and their constituents. Who benefits? Not the public who would likely experience greater difficulty accessing and paying for these plants.

So, who is the government of New Zealand and its medicines regulator, Medsafe working for in the passing of the Therapeutic Products Bill? Is it supporting the pharmaceutical-industrial complex, so that big pharma can steal from nature and from traditional healing practices for its own profit-making and/or nefarious ends?

It would appear that this government and the governments that tried to pass previous Therapeutic Products Bills have completely lost their way. Not only are they supporting big pharma at the expense of the people they are meant to serve but increasing controls on the population that are stealthily and not-so-stealthily being implemented. Is this what you want for your children?

Therapeutic Products Bill – What We Can Do

This petition may not go far enough, but it is a start, asking the government to develop legislation specific to natural health products and to approve products with a safe history of use.

We have a small window of opportunity. In the next two months, politicians and would-be politicians may be open to listening to their constituents. It is not enough to ask them whether they had supported this bill or not, but whether they would repeal it. Do these candidates stand for small government whos only purpose is to serve the people of New Zealand and the freedoms of the citizens of New Zealand to make their own informed choices?

We certainly are in an emergency and it is urgent. The Therapeutic Products Bill is an indication of things to come. We cannot allow parliamentarians to continue down the path of ignoring the people and serving global industrial aims.

We all have a part to play in Saving Our Supplements and Saving Our Sovereignty.

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