Therapeutic laws look headed for defeat


Legislation setting up a joint regulatory authority for therapeutic products looks set to fail after all parties outside the minority government said they would vote against it.

MPs from across the political spectrum met this morning to voice opposition to New Zealand signing a treaty with Australia to set up a regime to control therapeutic products.

The health select committee yesterday recommended that New Zealand draw up its own regulations and that Australia should recognise them, but Health Minister Annette King had already announced last week she was going ahead with the deal.

Therapeutic products are dietary supplements and alternative medicines such as herbal remedies.

MPs from National, ACT, Greens, New Zealand First and United Future held a very rare joint press conference in Parliament to express their frustration.

Today Ms King signs the treaty in Wellington along with Australian Parliamentary Secretary to the Health Minister, Trish Worth.

The MPs said "at this stage" their parties would not vote for the legislation that would result.

To change their minds the Government would have to implement the committee's recommendations instead of ignoring them.

The Government (Labour and the Progressive Coalition) only has 54 votes in Parliament and needs the support of one of the dissenting parties to pass necessary law.

All of the parties' spokespeople