Bill to set up natural health regulator

Joint Green Party-Government legislation to set up a natural health regulator is being tabled in Parliament today.

Green Party MP Sue Kedgley said the stand-alone regulator would work to protect the growing number of people using natural health products.

"The Green Party strongly supports natural healthcare and I am delighted that more and more people are using these products.

"We want to ensure the sector continues to flourish and that all products on the market are high quality, safe and true-to-label.''

The proposed natural health regulation would cover a wide range of products such as vitamins and Chinese medicines.

There are more than 6000 natural health products on sale in New Zealand and over 450 natural health companies. Those companies have an estimated annual turnover of $760 million.

The initiative to create a natural health regulator, within the Ministry of Health, was developed under the Green and National parties' Memorandum of Understanding.

The legislation to create the natural health regulator is expected to have its first reading in Parliament shortly and is likely to come into effect next year.

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