Anger as health bill passes first reading
2:45PM Thursday February 22, 2007
By Ruth Berry

A controversial bill creating a transtasman drug agency passed its first reading yesterday, hours after Winston Peters strode out to confront a protest on Parliament's forecourt, angrily denying he'd reneged on promises.

If passed, the bill will mean complementary medicines - natural health products and dietary supplements - are regulated for the first time.

Critics also argue it raises sovereignty questions and will remove New Zealanders' health choices.

New Zealand First and United Future have opposed the complementary medicines component of the bill - which also seeks to regulate other medicines and medical devices - but recently agreed to support it to select committee.

More here .