Winston Peters got heckled outside Parliament today as Green MPs joined those standing up against Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill. The proposed new drug regulation, also to include all natural health products right down to vitamin C, is up for its first reading in Parliament today. The legislation is likely to destroy most small natural health companies, as natural remedies which have been used safely for centuries suddenly have to be tested in labs like new chemicals invented yesterday by pharmaceutical companies.
Green MP Sue Kedgley, along with Tony Ryall and Maori Party MP Hone Harawira, spoke out against it outside Parliament before the debate to a healthy crowd of well accessorised natural health consumers. High on the agenda was the Bill’s attack on NZ sovereignty, along with NZ First’s U-turn in deciding to support the Bill, with Winston Peters silently turning up at the back just as Sue finished her criticism of NZ First. After the build up Winston took the stand to a mighty set of jeers and boos – who said street politics was dead?. When the extended heckling, which didn’t really achieve much, finally died down, he went on to claim it was a different Bill to the one which they had opposed 2 years ago, and that all he wanted to do was to ban ‘snake oil’. I mean, I don’t know any ‘snake oil’ users, do you? Although I hear it’s good for eczema. To his credit when he had finally finished press swatting (if they were bees you’d think he was covered in honey) he did finally allow a few questions, pity he didn’t answer any of them.
When he finished and the press swarmed after him, the protest was left alone to hear Amy Adams and Mike Cushman sum up the agenda of the Bill perfectly, the pharmaceutical multinationals lobbying to get the competition out of the way under the pretext of consumer protection.