The Dietary Supplement Regulations and related framework have been effective in managing the risks of health supplements, however, suppliers are currently not allowed to advertise any real benefit for a health supplement.  Suppliers are limited to advertising that their product can only support or maintain normal function of the body, which means they can’t say that a product can improve health.  In the example of echinacea (see image), suppliers can only tell you that echinacea can 'support normal immune function', which understates the proven benefits of echinacea.

The result of these restrictions is that the descriptions of what products can do is vague and consumers have unclear information in making decisions about their health.

The low standard of permitted health claims puts high-quality products with proven effectiveness on the same standing as low-quality products, which incentivises 'snake-oil salesmen'.

The lack of assurance testing means that products may not be true-to-label, bringing low confidence in the industry.


Key features of NZ First's proposed model

  • Ability for suppliers to make evidence-backed health claims.

  • Health claims must disclose the level of evidence to support the claim, based on a 10-level reliability scale.

  • The regulator will be able to undertake spot-checks for quality-assurance purposes.

  • More active enforcement will take place against mislabelling.

What the proposed model will do

We believe that updating the legislation will create positive change, making a real impact to the health of New Zealanders.  The new model will achieve this by:

  • Giving consumers informed freedom of choice in decisions affecting their health.

  • Creating fair opportunity for New Zealand suppliers in an online market.

  • Incentivising innovation.

  • Ensuring greater accountability for accurate labelling of products.

The introduction of the Food (Health Supplements) Amendment Bill by New Zealand First is a great opportunity for the New Zealand natural health industry to work with Parliament to create a regulatory framework that is risk-proportionate and that allows consumers to make informed choices about the products they buy for their health



With the help of our supporters, we managed to get the deeply flawed Natural Health and Supplementary Products Bill removed from the Parliamentary Order Paper. Thank you to everyone that signed the petition or donated.

The Natural Health and Supplementary Products Bill imposed high compliance costs that would have been very difficult for small businesses to meet, with the costs outweighing the benefits. It also imposed large barriers to entry, which was not supportive of New Zealand’s culture of innovation.

The removal of this bill eased pressure on access to natural health products and provided an opportunity for sensible regulation to take its place.


If you believe in a better future of health for New Zealand and would like to support our work, you can stand behind us in the following ways:


Become a member

Be part of the movement by becoming a member.  We have options for individuals, practitioners and ethical companies. Once a member, you can use our logo to tell people that you support a better future for the health of New Zealanders.


If you would just like to donate toward our cause, you can do so on our Givealittle page.

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