Canada On The Precipice Of Declaring All Natural Health Products As Drugs
By Eldon Dahl
According to the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA), 70% of Canadians take and use ultra-safe and effective natural health products (NHPs) and are confident in the current licensing of Natural Products Numbers (NPNs); it’s the envy of most other countries and this is about to change.
It is true, Canada is the envy of the world and for many reasons; today I am addressing just two: ethnic diversity and health care.
You have heard the statement “if it is not broken, don’t try to fix it”; this is one such example.
For example, take the cough syrup Benylin with codeine and the Chinese herbal cough medicine Pei Pa Koa, with licorice, honey, dandelion and kumquat; they are hardly the same, and for good reason. One is associated with a list of warnings and health risks, and the other is completely natural and ultra-safe.
On September 15, 2016, I was in Toronto at the Canadian Health Food Association’s (CHFA) Members Only Regulations Meeting, where Health Canada revealed their plans. Health Canada means to confuse the public regarding the ultra-safe category NPNs by putting them in the same category as over the counter drugs. This action will change how 70% of Canadians choose for health care of all ethnic origins — be it of Chinese, traditional, herbal, Ayurveda, native Indian, or homeopathic medicine.
Canada is known for racial tolerance and ethnic diversity. Our population works because we are inclusive of others’ cultures on most levels, including health care. Secondly, we are known for our health care, including over the counter (OTC) drugs and natural health products (NHPs) with the licensing designation of natural product number (NPN). These are fully registered and supported by Health Canada based on clinical evidence. In Canada, we have OTCs and NPNs sitting side by side on store shelves — why? Because we allow the freedom of choice regarding the method of health care we choose for ourselves and our families.
NHPs were first introduced by the Standing Committee on Health in 1998 by then Health Minister Alan Rock. Through consultation and with full government approval, NHPs with NPNs became law in 2012, after taking 12 years of government consultation.
Health Canada notified CHFA 4 days before the regulations meeting about this sudden change, and gave 6 weeks to close consolation. Keep in mind, they are changing what had been negotiated for 12 years and working perfectly well for 4 years with only 6 weeks’ notice. This apparently is not a Liberal government initiative. They are far too busy dealing with legalizing cannabis and assisted suicide to worry about changing the way ultra-safe NHPs are being sold. If this is not a Liberal government initiative, then who else would benefit from having a single health category? Could it be Big Pharma who is pressing the bureaucrats of Health Canada for a bigger piece of the 70% Canadian health pie?
Again, how can you compare the herb feverfew to extra strength Tylenol for treating headaches? Why is Health Canada rushing this? Why are they not consulting the CHFA, as they did while creating NPNs?
Did you know that Bayer has hundreds of “use patents” on isolated constituents found in natural botanicals? These patents don’t do them much good if the actual herb they are derived from is still available from natural and health store markets. But now that Bayer is ready to move, is their game to pressure the right bureaucrats to demand clinical trials for the most “high risk” products? Is it a coincidence that these products just happen to dove-tail nicely with the products that contain molecules on which Bayer holds patents and conducts clinical trials?
Do you want your tax dollars spent on new bureaucratic regulations that help promote companies like Bayer, who just bought out Monsanto — the same company that is killing all our bees with their Neonics and contaminating our foods with glyphosate?
As far as I know, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said “Diversity is Canada’s Strength!” Canada stands for ethnic diversity and our health care is no exception. Please join me in the fight to send a strong message to the bureaucrats of Health Canada to back off and let the people decide the best way to treat their bodies and their health. Our natural health products are not high risk prescription drugs and should not be regulated as such. Yet Health Canada intends to fast track through yet another revised set of drug style regulations without any parliamentary oversight. You stand to lose many of the homeopathics, herbs, and vitamins you depend on for your health.
The CHFA is currently running a campaign entitled “Our Natural Health Products Are Not Drugs.” Please support them by sending your MP a letter. http://www.pushpolitics.ca/clients/chfa/index.html