Submission of the Soil & Health Association on the Therapeutic Products Bill

The Therapeutic Products Bill is intended to replace the Medicines Act 1981 and Dietary Supplements Regulations 1985 and brings natural health products (NHP) into the regulation system for health products within Aotearoa/New Zealand. 

Read our full submission here.

Summary of our submission

This submission from Soil & Health focuses on the regulation of natural health products. 

Soil & Health agrees with the Purpose of the Therapeutic Products in relation to natural health products: 

‘to protect, promote, and improve the health of all New Zealanders by providing for the—… 

acceptable safety and quality of natural health products across their life-cycle. 

but we consider that the Bill is written primarily from a western reductionist viewpoint, considering natural health products rather than natural health systems: 

  1. Much of the Bill is concerned with defining therapeutic products and decisions on this will be made by experts in the field.  Soil & Health is concerned that registered naturopaths, medical herbalists and homeopaths are not included as health practitioners under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003, nor are they recognised as experts in natural health products in this Bill. In contrast pharmacists are recognised in the Bill and sell natural products although they are not trained as experts in this field.  

We recommend that the Naturopaths & Medical Herbalists of NZ (Inc).(NMHNZ)(, New Zealand Association of Medical Herbalists (NZAMH) ( and the New Zealand Council of Homeopaths ( be recognised as responsible authorities under the HPCAA and that those registered by these authorities be included in the Bill as NHP practitioners. 

  1. The Bill allows for the definition of natural health products to include synthetic ingredients and additives. 

We recommend synthetic ingredients and additives be limited to 5% of the product and controlled. 

  1. The Bill also allows for exceptions to the requirement for regulations for low concentration natural health products. 

Soil & Health recommends that the risk assessment of dilute NHPs such as homeopathic remedies apply not to the origin of the remedies (whether plant, mineral or animal), but instead to the final products, which contain no DNA and therefore no disease risk.  

  1. We recognise that large manufacturers of natural health products want and need regulations for export. BUT it is our view that these market regulations should not apply to the domestic market.   

We recommend that a list of prohibited ingredients be developed for the domestic market.   

  1. The Bill currently applies to rongoā.   

We recommend that the Bill not proceed until there is a Tiriti-based process in place for rongoā. 

  1. The Bill does not provide any protection for source ingredients.   

Soil & Health recommends that plant ingredients be harvested in a way that protects their sustainability and avoids depletion of any endangered species. 

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