Monday, December 12, 2005

Greens opposing more state violence?

Well, just to be fair to them, it appears the Greens have dropped the gun in one case – the regulation of dietary supplements. Now I suspect this is largely because of a warm fuzzy feeling the Greens have towards so-called natural remedies, you know all those extracts of plants, bugs and whatsoever that are vastly overpriced, and tend to do anything short of promise better sleep, fitness, sexual performance. The Greens don’t tend to like the pharmaceutical sector (all that science and cold hard analysis using chemicals), but like anyone who can take a lemon and make a cold and flu tablet out of it – forgetting that all substances are chemicals and just because it is natural, doesn’t mean it is good for you. Uranium, arsenic and lead are all very natural and pure.

Sue Kedgley is right, regulating dietary supplements through a proposed Trans-Tasman Therapeutics Goods Agency is not in New Zealand’s interests. It would be a highly bureaucratic system with huge compliance costs. A better approach would be to return to the right to sue (tort law not Kedgley) and opening ACC up to competition, so that producers of dietary supplements that sell products that are negligently harmful can be held to account.

Unfortunately, Sue having dropped the gun for the big bureaucracy, is still holding a baton when she says that “we can begin work on a sensible, New Zealand-based scheme to improve the regulation of dietary supplements”. Imagine there’s no regulation, it’s easy if you try, no bureaucrats or authorities, above us only sky.

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