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Source: New Zealand Parliament

The dietary supplements industry is fast growing. It covers an increasing range of health and wellness products taken in a variety of edible forms, such as vitamin and mineral supplements, capsules of omega-3 fish oils, and glucosamine tablets.

There are currently Regulations (the Dietary Supplements Regulations 1985) in place to cover how dietary supplements are made and labelled. These include some specific risk-mitigating measures, such as stating the maximum daily doses for specific vitamins and minerals, and prohibiting misleading statements and therapeutic claims. The Regulations expire on 1 March 2021, before a new natural health products regime is likely to be put in place. If the Regulations expire before a new scheme is in place, dietary supplements will be regulated by the general laws applying to food. These general laws do not address the specific health risks associated with dietary supplements. This may increase the risk of unsafe and unsuitable dietary supplements being sold.

The Food (Continuation of Dietary Supplements Regulations) Amendment Bill would extend the expiry date of the Regulations by five years, from 1 March 2021 to 1 March 2026. The Bill’s objective is to maintain consumer access to dietary supplements sold in New Zealand until a fit-for-purpose regulatory regime is expected to fully commence. It would do this by amending the two sections of the Food Act 2014 that implement an expiry date for the Regulations.

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