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22 July 2008
3 News (NZ)
The Ministry of Health is testing some brands of party pills after fresh concerns the new pills maybe more harmful than first thought. In April the Government banned BZP, an ingredient common in party pills, but there is alarm at what new generation pills may have replaced it.
“There is just a little bit of change between strength and weakness between the two pills. Some people tend to think the new one coming out are a lot stronger,” says Karson, a party pill enthusiast. This has prompted the Ministry of Health into conducting tests; concerned their content could be more harmful than BZP.
“Our initial testing at least hasn't turned up anything that is a major cause for concern, but we are just waiting to test that and confirm those results using an international reference standard,” says Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Public Health Chief Advisor.
But those tests are on just four of the most popular brands, while some of the lesser known pills may have more potent concoctions. Either way, party pill producer Matt Bowden says the constant regulation and interference has caused a bigger problem.
“What we have found is that a lot of consumers don't know there are some decent pills out there. I fear a lot of consumers have gone back to illegal drugs which it what was predicted what was feared and what I think has happened’ Bowden says.
“You have got to remember that Mr Bowden and his ilk were making 35 million dollars out of the sale of BZP, so they would say that wouldn't they?” says Associate Health Minister Jim Anderton.
Political motives aside, two large hospitals 3 News spoke to today reported despite the BZP ban there has been little change in the number of patients admitted suffering negative effects from party pills.
“We know that if you keep banning drugs that doesn't work cause people just take them anyway, so the other side of it is that we need some thing which is legal and available, but marketers need to show that a product is safe before putting on the market if they haven't done that they shouldn't be selling it,” Bowden says.
But that could soon be taken out their hands. New legislation is in the works where it would be up to the distributors, not the Government, to prove what is in the pills.
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