16 Sep 2011

New agency to regulate natural health products

9:24 pm on 16 September 2011

Parliament is making another attempt to regulate natural health products such as Chinese medicines, herbal remedies and dietary supplements.

Legislation creating a stand-alone agency to oversee the industry has unanimously passed its first reading.

The Labour Party was forced to shelve its plan for a trans-Tasman regulator four years ago due to fierce political opposition and industry resistance.

Associate Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says this bill is completely different to what Labour proposed and has support from the industry and the Green Party.

Dr Coleman says the new regulations would cover a wide range of products and the set-up costs would be met by the Government.

The industry is estimated as being worth an estimated $760 million a year in New Zealand.