November 21, 2016

396 Health Canada Myths & Facts [21 Nov 2016]

On October 3 (#389) I described the current system for regulating natural health products (NHPs) and mentioned that Health Canada is proposing a new system. The NHP industry has serious concerns about how this could impact the choice Canadian consumers now enjoy, and began a campaign to inform the public about the situation.

The consulting window with Health Canada is now closed so we are concentrating on contacting our MPs. I have personally met with Kelly Block about this issue, and still have postcards you can fill out to mail to her showing your concern.

In response to public concerns expressed during the brief consultation period, Health Canada has posted an information web page called “Myths and facts on proposed self-care product regulation”. I’m always suspicious of “myth-busters” – too often they just replace someone else’s myths with their own. The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) shares my distrust and did some fact-checking of their own resulting in the paper “Setting the Record Straight on the Self-Care Proposal”.

Here are a few of the points made by CHFA in response to Health Canada’s assurances that these proposals are for your benefit:
• Low risk products may get to market faster but will no longer be allowed to carry therapeutic claims, reducing the information available to consumers.
• Medium and high risk products which have been used safely and effectively for years in Canada and around the world will likely require prohibitively expensive (for non-patentable products) research, resulting in their removal from store shelves.
• Low risk products will be restricted to “structure function” claims which only apply to nutrients (vitamins, minerals, efa’s and amino acids), and “therapeutic claims” will not be allowed. Herbals and homeopathics are not nutrients so cannot make any claims.
• The premise - that consumers are confused about the safety and effectiveness of self-care health products - on which the proposed new regulations are designed is based on a single small survey which has many fundamental flaws. The current system is based on years of consultation and negotiations and is working well.

I encourage you to read both documents – follow the links in this article in my website: go to and click on the “Eagle Ad” link.

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.


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