The natural health-care industry is once again under attack with the introduction of budget Bill C-47, sponsored by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland. This bill includes changes to the Food and Drug Act, specifically amendments 500 to 504, which subject the natural health industry to the same powers and penalties as chemical drug companies.
Shawn Buckley, a constitutional lawyer and president of the Natural Health Product Protection association (NHPPA), believes that this is just the latest in a series of attacks on the natural health industry. He argues that Health Canada, the government organization responsible for helping Canadians maintain and improve their health, has been targeting the natural health industry through restrictions and regulations for years.
In a court case years ago, Buckley cross-examined a Health Canada inspector who admitted that their role is to enforce the Food and Drug Act regulations, not to protect the health of Canadians. This, according to Buckley, is part of a larger agenda to harmonize regulations in favor of chemical drugs and limit options for consumers.
The new regulations introduced in Bill C-47 include cost recovery stipulations, which will result in increased prices for natural health products. There will also be limitations on label claims, with violators facing penalties of up to $5 million per day. This could be devastating for small businesses in the natural health industry.
Buckley’s discussion paper on the subject provides a comprehensive background and scope of the issue, highlighting the bureaucrats responsible for this overreach. The NHPPA is committed to developing campaigns aimed at correcting course on natural health product regulation.
Interestingly, these changes come at a time when Minister of Health Yve Duclos is pushing through regulatory framework changes that give chemical drug companies a free pass to bypass informed consent. This prioritizes industry over the health and safety of Canadians and further disadvantages the natural health industry, which typically poses fewer risks than chemical drugs.
The natural health industry is facing increasing challenges and restrictions that could have a significant impact on consumers and businesses. It is crucial for advocates and supporters of natural health to stay informed and mobilize efforts to protect the industry from further harm.
As the debate continues, it is important to consider the implications of these regulatory changes and the potential consequences for the availability and affordability of natural health products. The natural health industry plays an important role in providing alternative options for consumers and should be protected from unnecessary burdens and restrictions.