Imported Vitamin C soon to be unavailable in New Zealand – (press release)

Media Release
25 August 2016

Imported Vitamin C
soon to be unavailable in New Zealand

The Natural
Health Alliance today called on Government to reconsider the
Natural Health Products Bill expressing concerns that the
legislation will mean many popular household natural
products will no longer be available to be purchased from
kiwi retailers.

Alliance spokesperson, Bronwynne Howse
said that natural products such as Lipospheric vitamin C and
several combination products which include well known
ingredients such as Garlic, Echinacea and Ginkgo will not
meet new labelling requirements and the fees to register
these products and ingredients will be too high for many of
the small to medium sized natural health companies in New

“The proposed amendments to the legislation
will not only significantly reduce the number of natural
health products available in pharmacies, practitioner
clinics and health food stores, but threaten the financial
viability of the New Zealand natural health products
industry”, she said.

The government has stated that a
$170 (ex GST) notification fee would be payable annually per
natural health product and this is in addition to the fees
payable for the application of new ingredients.

“The proposed fees are exorbitant when there is absolutely
no benefit in return. Many companies have well over 100
products which means at least an additional $17,000 per year
every year in compliance costs. This is a cost many natural
health companies simply can’t afford, said Ms Howse.

“We are talking about natural health products like vitamin
C, fish oil, and evening primrose oil – not high tech
medicines, and any regulatory framework needs to reflect

“In addition, the proposed requirements to
disclose the actual amount of each ingredient used in a
blended product, instead of just listing the ingredients
means that the majority of natural products which are
currently imported from other countries, such as the USA,
will no longer meet NZ requirements, and will not be
available for purchase locally”.

The Government is
requiring companies to disclose the proportions of all
ingredients in their products. That’s all commercial
information that will be available to competitors. This
stifles innovation and product availability in New

Ironically – consumers will be able to go
online to purchase products from overseas that are banned in
New Zealand It is not clear why the Government would
advantage international on-line shopping by disadvantaging
kiwi businesses.

“The Alliance is concerned that
Parliament may consider this bill without knowing the rules
and regulations that will affect business. The 71 pages of
amendments go far beyond that intention.”

“We believe
the Government needs to withdraw this bill. What we have now
works for New Zealand consumers and it works for New Zealand
business, there is no “burning platform” problem here that
needs a new law,” said Ms Howse.

- Ends –

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