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And from the "WTF????" file... - Tactical Ninja

Apr. 24th, 2007

05:34 pm - And from the "WTF????" file...

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The NZ government is moving to line our regulations covering health supplements up with Australia's.

This means no more 5-HTP, amongst other things.

I say again, WTF?

Comments:

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From:op_lattethunder
Date:April 24th, 2007 05:49 am (UTC)
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Well that's more than slightly ridiculous.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 24th, 2007 06:44 am (UTC)
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Australia's drug laws are inane, archaic and designed to create a monopoly for the large pharmaceutical companies.
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From:pombagira
Date:April 24th, 2007 06:22 am (UTC)
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FFS sometimes the government is just lame. you here that new zealand government you are just lame, lame, lame, lame

hmm.. must go to a pharmacy in the next week..

*mumbles darkly*

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From:tatjna
Date:April 24th, 2007 06:44 am (UTC)
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Sadly, this may swing my vote in the next election. Not kidding. Nanny state is one thing, tying our legislation to that of US arse-lickers is quite another.
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From:t_c_da
Date:April 24th, 2007 10:16 am (UTC)
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US arse-lickers - LOVELY! I just love that tag for the Howard government.

It just so fits with underarm bowlers! You should trade-mark it before someone steals it...

For mine, the last thing the NZ government needs to do is become the eighth state of Mouth Island and lose all control of everything to Canberra (who don't give a monkeys f**k for the kiwis.

Kiwi Freedom Front! Have nothing to do with those bloody australians!
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From:bekitty
Date:April 24th, 2007 06:58 am (UTC)
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This legislation has been in the pipeline for ages, and has very little chance of getting through. *crosses fingers* It's not just us consumers who are against it - many supplement manufacturers have been voicing strong opposition too.

If it means that prices are going to go up, then that would mean an end to all the medications I take. This would not be a good thing.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 24th, 2007 07:01 am (UTC)
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It made it through the first reading. This concerns me deeply.
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From:bekitty
Date:April 24th, 2007 07:14 am (UTC)
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Yes, but very narrowly, and with opposition from National, ACT, the Maori Party and the Greens. It passed by one vote.

Check out this article on Scoop for more details.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 24th, 2007 07:19 am (UTC)
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I particularly enjoyed the bit where there have been THREE WHOLE DEATHS!!OMGZ, none of which can be conclusively attributed to supplements, in the last 10 years! Call the cavalry, it's an epidemic!

(the whole thing smells like its financially motivated to me. i hope you're right. i'm glad National is against it. i will be protesting this one loudly)
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From:bekitty
Date:April 24th, 2007 07:39 am (UTC)
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I have never seen the Greens side with National on anything up til now. But they have with this.

It seems that everything hangs on what Taito Philip Field will do. Here's hoping he stays opposed.
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From:russiandolls
Date:April 24th, 2007 07:18 am (UTC)
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I'd be interested to know what other supplements this affects. You don't happen to know where I might find this info, do you?
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From:tatjna
Date:April 24th, 2007 07:22 am (UTC)
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You can download the entire bill from this page.
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From:russiandolls
Date:April 24th, 2007 07:30 am (UTC)
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Eek! 494 pages! Maybe when I have a bit more time.....
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From:tatjna
Date:April 24th, 2007 07:34 am (UTC)
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I think googling the name of the bill will answer your questions effectively. However, from what I'm gathering in my travels, it's pretty much everything that isn't prescription and therefore already regulated.

*is tempted to go see local MP and rant*

I can't believe even 30% of people agree with this.
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From:edm
Date:April 24th, 2007 08:29 pm (UTC)

Visiting MPs

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*is tempted to go see local MP and rant*

Do.

And at very least if you can't bring yourself to do that, do write a letter -- on actual paper, sent in an actual envelope -- to your MP. And to whatever Select Committee ends up dealing with it. Both need to see that there are intelligent, reasoned, arguments against what they're doing, rather than just rejecting people against it as "druggies." And a lot of them probably figure it won't affect them (a surprisingly large percentage of people seem to favour all sorts of legislation without considering either the detail or the fact it may affect them, which I personally find... odd).

So I'm not surprised that more than 30% agree with it. Even given the apparently wide scope. A lot of the population thinks Something Must Be Done (tm) about both "recreational" drugs, and all those unregulated "health supplements", and obviously This Is Something (tm), which leads quickly to the conclusion that this must be done -- if one doesn't think about it much.

It also wouldn't surprise me to see the Bill change during the Select Committee process to be less harsh on "mainstream" health supplements, and more harsh on things which are perceived as less mainstream. So if you wish to avoid that happening I do strongly suggest you speak up directly to the people in a position to make a difference. Writing to, eg, the Greens as well expressing your support for their position wouldn't be a bad idea either -- at very least it'd let them claim they got lots of letters of support.

Given the general apathy, it appears to me that a relatively small showing of interested people -- in the hundreds of people -- can have a disproportionate effect on the outcome.

Ewen

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From:bekitty
Date:April 24th, 2007 09:11 pm (UTC)

Re: Visiting MPs

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It's already been through the select committee stage. And as it's not a conscience vote, both Labour and NZ First will be voting for it.

Which is why everything hangs on Taito Philip Field. As he's the only "independent" MP in Parliament, Labour is depending on him to maintain their majority. If he votes against it, as he is currently saying he will do, then the bill will not pass.

So if you're going to lobby an MP, then Taito Philip Feld is the one to go for. Except maybe "lobby" isn't the right word. More thank him for his stand, and encourage him to keep opposing the bill.
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:April 28th, 2007 05:25 am (UTC)

Re: Visiting MPs

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Ironic that - all hangs on a corrupt, feudalist, authoritarian b*****d like Field.

Incidentally, NZF aren't signed up to support government legislation - just confidence and supply. So it's Winnies call how they vote. I'd have thought his doddering constituency would be keen on their vitamins and evening primrose oil..
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From:bekitty
Date:April 24th, 2007 09:17 pm (UTC)
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It looks like the 30% in question were all big pharmaceutical companies like Glaxo, who stand to make a lot of money from the merge.

I have a horrible feeling that it's all tied in to the Closer Economic Relations thing with Australia that Michael Cullen has been working on. He doesn't want to merge our currencies, but he'll do pretty much anything else.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 24th, 2007 07:28 am (UTC)
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And there's the spinQuestion and Answer Session from Annette King, which says this:

"The overall aim of the proposed joint regulatory scheme is to protect the health and safety of New Zealanders and Australians who use and consume therapeutic products. It would do this by regulating the pre and post-market safety and quality of therapeutic products including:
· complementary medicines such as herbal and traditional medicines, homoeopathic medicines and aromatherapy products, vitamins, minerals and dietary and nutritional supplements;
· over-the-counter medicines;
· prescription medicines;
· medical devices, for example bandages, contact lenses, hearing aids, heart valves, pace makers and endoscopes;
· blood and blood products and tissues and cellular therapies."

And then there's the next fun question where it says that Chinese, Indian and alternative European medicine will come under the regulation, but Maori medicine will be exempt. SNARL.
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From:t_c_da
Date:April 24th, 2007 10:06 am (UTC)
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The above could be read to include my herbal tea bags as well as all the other stuff.

When they decide that Twinings aren't using the proper processes in the manufacture of said tea bags and ban them, there will be more than a few ruffled feathers about the place...

Oh, and yes, we'll exempt Maori medicines otherwise we'll be accused of not being bi-cultural/PC/whatever. Yeah Right!
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:April 24th, 2007 08:25 am (UTC)
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grr

First they make Modafinil and Piracetam away, now they threaten to take my supplements - or at least make me pay heaps more when they are already pretty expensive as part of a regular routine.

If they take away my St Johns Wort and I become horribly depressed then you can all use my death as a reason against this bill (not that I'd actually get that bad, but I hate the prescription anti depressants and St Johns Wort is gentle enough to elevate my mood without any side effects).
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From:tatjna
Date:April 24th, 2007 08:29 am (UTC)
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If they take away 5-HTP and St John's Wort, I suspect there will be a sudden upsurge in downer-related antisocial activity, New Zealand wide.

There'll also be a stark reality check in terms of what kiwis actually eat and how good it is for them. If they do this, they had better drop the price of healthy food, and set up some food kitchens to prepare it for the lazy - or start dealing with scurvy, beriberi and other nutrition related diseases again.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 24th, 2007 08:30 am (UTC)
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PS Don't die, mmk? I would miss you.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:April 24th, 2007 11:48 am (UTC)
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oh I won't - I have far too much music to listen and dance too ;)
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From:xhile
Date:April 24th, 2007 02:00 pm (UTC)
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well, if you truly believe this is a wrong decision, we can lobby our MPS, including Phillip Taito Field. Write letters, and better still, make an appointment to see your MP and go and explain your point of view to them.

If the bill is passed, and you haven't done this, then democrasy dies just a little more. (Not that i, as an anarchist, care much for democrasy, but it is - as Winston Churchill said - the the least bad of the alternatives.)

By the way, I count myself in opposition to this too, even though i'm a non recreational drug user (apart from alcohol).
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From:tatjna
Date:April 24th, 2007 06:41 pm (UTC)
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This isnt' about recreational drugs. It's about offshore big business being allowed to kill local small business by pushing compliance costs through the roof, which will then be passed on to the user. It's about avoiding tying our law to that of a country that doesn't give a rats arse whether we agree with their policy or not. And it's about preventing some very good, effective remedies from being used.

Yes, the 5-HTP is what got my attention (which, incidentally, is also what I take when I feel myself sliding into the Pit of Despair, instead of the prescription stuff that does my head in), but looking deeper into the issue, everyone should be concerned about this.
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From:bekitty
Date:April 24th, 2007 09:27 pm (UTC)
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Currently, I take evening primrose oil, St John's wort, zinc and Berocca every morning, and selenium once a week. Most of the daily pills are to combat aggression and depression. The selenium is to boost my immune system.

All of these pills will be affected in some way.
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From:ext_33572
Date:April 26th, 2007 12:13 am (UTC)
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Do you find that 5-HTP works against occasional depression, as opposed to just the after effects of taking substances that faff with your serotonin levels..

Interesting that it hasn't been brought into conventional medicine for that purpose. I don't believe that there is any conventional drug that does that - SSRIs and the like only work if taken continuously (same for St John's Wort I think).

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From:tatjna
Date:April 30th, 2007 08:19 am (UTC)
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I find that 5-htp in combination with B group vitamins works well for me in most stress situations. I have found that when the early signs of depression show up (for me, no appetite and waking up really early), taking them twice a day for about a week will get my appetite going and help me sleep normally. The rest is a matter of working on self.

Having said that, I've been on SSRIs once, the first time, and was a lot further down that track when I recognised the symptoms. I guess I'd advise most people to see a doctor, I just know myself really well and know that it works for me.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:April 24th, 2007 10:48 pm (UTC)
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Yup, I've signed up the websites action network, and will write some letters I think. I might talk to my MP, but I'm much more coherent in writing then when talking (at least in my mind anyhow).
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From:dragonvyxn
Date:April 24th, 2007 03:28 pm (UTC)
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oh, crap. that's ridiculous.
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From:rainyk
Date:April 26th, 2007 12:00 pm (UTC)
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saw this and thought I'd let you know seeing you'll be in Auckland ;)

IS NEW ZEALAND NEXT? COME TO THE PROTEST RALLY AGAINST THE GOVT PLAN TO OUTLAW YOUR NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS. WHEN: APRIL 28. WHERE: AUCKLAND AT WESTERN PARK, PONSONBY ROAD, 9.30 AM. PLEASE POST THIS WIDELY
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From:tatjna
Date:April 30th, 2007 08:37 am (UTC)
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I had my own private protest on Waiheke. That count?

(sorry about the insanity that was my weekend once again meaning i was there and back without catching up. it will happen one day)
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