The TNHA supports responsible regulation which provides a level playing field for the industry. This will allow the sector to realise its full potential for the benefit of all.
The TNHA aims to ensure regulations effectively protect consumers while still encouraging innovation and accountability. So for the future the answer is both simple and complex.
The simple answer is that before anything else can work, natural health product regulations must be right. To protect the consumer and enable practitioners and businesses to carry out their proper function without monopoly control from a competing modality, good regulations are vital. Poor regulations though can do just the opposite.
If natural health regulations don’t set the proper framework innovation within the natural health industry is stifled while only a handful of large conformists prosper. The complex part of the answer is ensuring that the regulations work for us and not against us and they safeguard both consumers and the industry against future manipulation.
The TNHA works closely with many other groups both in South Africa and around the world to address these issues. To act as an effective lobbying force the natural health industry needs a single umbrella entity that has its only focus to act as a regulatory watchdog without hidden agendas.
Change has to occur at the regulatory level to ensure all businesses are able to operate in a fair and reasonable way without double standards, discrimination based on tradition or pharmaceutical bias. There needs to be controls on bureaucracy to ensure that large companies do not achieve monopolies by regulation. There also needs to be a system that encourages innovation and demands accountability.
The Natural Health Industry is facing serious threats from a number of directions. If these threats are not countered then the ability of individual consumers to take responsibility for their own health and make their own decisions from a range of effective and safe products and therapies will be seriously diminished, if not destroyed.
The TNHA believes in ‘Consumer Empowerment’ – the understanding that being responsible for looking after our own health is the most fundamental of human rights.