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 effects of current law on industry

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 NZWA'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, including much larger fines.

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.  Our 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.


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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