FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday 19th August 2008
Health Freedom Spokesperson: Nicola Grace
In 2003 the then Health Minister Annette King ordered a class 1 recall (death eminent) of all Pan Pharmaceuticals natural products in alignment with the Australian TGA recall. This recall, instantly recognised as illegal by industry, has now been confirmed as illegal by the NSW Supreme Court in Australia in a court case between Jim Selim, the owner of Pan Pharmaceuticals and the TGA.
Jim Selim then sued the TGA for $141 million dollars according to the documents lodged at the Federal Court. Friday 18th of August the ‘Australian’ reported that Selim was awarded $55 million in damages, a figure the Australian taxpayer will have to pay. The Australian Government does not plan to investigate the TGA’s illegal behaviour despite demands for an inquiry. A class action suit against the TGA involving some 100 businesses that went under because of this recall, is likely to ensue and the ticket may just include Minister Annette King.
“We are glad for the New Zealand taxpayers and natural product users that we were able to halt our Government’s plans to allow our regulator to be absorbed into this unaccountable and out of control agency. The fact that the TGA is able to emerge unscathed without even an inquiry after their malfeasance, which has landed the Australian taxpayers with a $55 million dollar penalty, speaks volumes to the ‘sacred cow’ status it enjoys. One has to ask why the Australian Government is happy to give away $55 million dollars without asking why,” says Health Freedom spokesperson Nicola Grace.
The rapid move towards a settlement in the TGA case came after several weeks of damaging court evidence by senior government officials. Judge Arthur Emmett urged the parties to talk.
"If Mr Selim succeeds, his damages are going to be huge, aren't they?" Justice Emmett asked government barrister David Brogan.
"Yes, your honour," he replied.
"And the reputations of several senior commonwealth officers are going to be completely destroyed?"
Like many other corporations, the TGA has succeeded in ‘externalising’ its liabilities in this matter. The TGA stuffs up, the taxpayer pays the fine and the Australian Government turns a blind eye. “Last year during the protest of the TGA takeover in New Zealand, Health Freedom continually alerted the public and politicians to the dangers of allowing an unaccountable agency to come into power. We were accused of scaremongering and spreading dis-information. I’d say we were right on the money.” Says Nicola.
“It is Big Pharma who is the winner here. The pharma biased regulator destroyed a major producer of Natural Health Products (the natural health industry is Big Pharma’s only competitor). We have always said it is ludicrous to allow one industry to regulate its only competitor”, says Nicola, “It can only lead to the dessimation of the smaller competitor, and that is exactly what has happened here”.
Health Freedom, believe we in New Zealand should hold Minister King responsible for the illegal class 1 recall of natural products when the offending substance that provoked the recall was a synthetic drug Pan manufactured called Travacalm. Something the Minister would have found out if she had done her due diligence in the interest of public safety.
Health Freedom call on the Labour Government once again to “Bury the Anti-Vitamin Bill” that would see our regulator swallowed up by the TGA in an offshore un-accountable agency called ANZTPA. Health Freedom further call for an immediate inquiry into the legality of Minister Kings actions in the entire matter. “Minister King seems to be at the center of many a controversy in the Health Sector and hasn’t once been held accountable for any of her suspicious actions. It’s about time Minister King was held accountable for at least one of her many misdeeds against the New Zealand people.” says Nicola. “It would be appropriate for Minister King to resign now before she commits another travesty of justice, she’ll most likely get away with once again as Minister OF Justice”.
It was good enough for the Minister of Immigration, Leanne Dalzeil, to resign because of perceived misleading of people, surely the same rules must be applied to other ministers. It has been stated in the media that politicians when they have been in parliament for some time become unthinking, uncaring and emotionally disengaged from the people they were elected to represent. Does this apply to Annette King?
The Australian Report can be found at:
For our report on What’s Wrong With The TGA? See http://www.healthfreedom.co.nz/TGA.htm