In George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Ministry of Truth was actually serving the opposite purpose. Given the extent to which Health Canada (HC) claims to be doing one thing while they're accomplishing the exact opposite, the parallels are obvious.
For example, HC's "Self-care Framework" sounds good, but in reality these initiatives are going to reduce access to prevention and self-care by making NHP's much more expensive! They will in fact result in less Self-care, and more government-funded healthcare usage, from which the biggest financial benefactor is the pharmaceutical industry.
With this framework HC claims to be "modernizing" our NHP Regulations when Canada already has the most modern, progressive NHP Regulations in the world, bar-none. There is nothing more modern! So is the purpose of further "modernization" simply over-regulation?
Over-Regulating Safe Products
Moreover, pharmaceuticals are more highly regulated than NHPs, yet are a leading cause of death. Hence, more regulation neither ensures safety nor efficacy! (Unless you call being dead effective. "Wow, that was pretty effective") This is because the most important aspect to consider is what a substance IS, not what it USED for, or how it is regulated. If it is not poisonous to begin with, saying that how you regulate it will this change this is INVALD!
Take cinnamon, parsley or rosemary or any number of herbs for example. Use them in cooking, and they are foods. Put the exact same herbs in a capsule, and swallow them for a health benefit, and they are now DRUGS. What changed was not what they ARE, but rather what they were USED for. That they have suddenly become more dangerous is horse manure!
This is the error in reasoning that Health Canada has sucked everyone into that they use to create a faulty arena of dialogue...i.e. they get you thinking in their terms that it is valid to crack-down on NHPs based on what they are USED for, instead of what they ARE, which is largely food-based substances, with huge cultural and even religious significance that our bodies have evolved with, and that have been used since time immemorial.
Of course mandatory Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) are a good idea, but WE ALREADY HAVE THIS...and much more!
The NHP Regulations utilize pre-market authorization, requiring a minimum of two-peer reviewed references for claims. They are mandated to be tested exhaustively for purity and potency.
As HC says on their web page entitled "About Natural Health Product Regulation in Canada":
"All NHPs must have a product licence before they can be sold in Canada. To get a licence, applicants must give detailed information about the product to Health Canada, including: medicinal ingredients, source, dose, potency, non-medicinal ingredients and recommended use(s).
Once Health Canada has assessed a product and decided it is safe, effective and of high quality, it issues a product licence along with an eight-digit Natural Product Number (NPN) or Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM), which must appear on the label. This number lets you know that the product has been reviewed and approved by Health Canada."
So it's a farce that NHPs require further safety! What's really going on?
Given that far more Canadians have died being struck by lightning than from using an NHP, in any realistic sense they ARE OBVIOUSLY SAFE! An insistence on a more "Risk-based approach" indicates an agenda.
And, with over 70% of Canadians using NHPs, they are also obviously effective...or no one would care...including Health Canada! The agency's problem is, they are actually TOO effective!
Take Action Now!
The most important action you can take to support your access to NHPs in Canada is in letters involving clear, polite questions requesting a written response, and addressed to:
1. Your MP____ House of Commons, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A6
2. Minister of Health, The Honourable Mark Holland, P.C., MP Floor 16, 70 Columbine Driveway, Ottawa ON, K1A 0K9
3. The Shadow Minister of Health, Dr. Stephen Ellis, MP
3. The Director General of the NNHPD, Natalie Page
If you are sending a form letter:
- You must fill out the comment box.
- Begin by thanking the official for considering your concerns
- Ask a question from within the letter. Ask for a written response.
Also make it very clear that Health Canada does not have your consent to:
- proceed with their plans for increased regulation
- underhandedly subject NHPs to the same penalties as chemical pharmaceutical drugs, by eliminating their exemption from "Therapeutic Products" in paragraph 500-504 of Bill C-47
If you are formulating your own letter:
(which is most effective, particularly hand-written!) ask such questions as the following:
- Why does the Auditor General's Report, which Health Canada is using to justify it's actions, claim that the current NHP Regulations fail to ensure the safety and efficacy of NHPs, when pharmaceuticals are more highly regulated, yet are a leading cause of death?
- It is obvious more regulation neither ensures safety nor efficacy! Conversely, it is an obvious fact that with ZERO Canadian deaths in 68 years NHPs ARE SAFE...far safer than food, which kills Canadians yearly. And if they are not effective, why do over 70% of Canadians (i.e. 28 million) use them?
- Why was Health Canada allowed to flat-out ignore the Recommendation of the Standing Committee on Health to give NHPs a distinct category, and to instead place them as a subclass of DRUGS, and then deceive Parliament that they had been given their own class?
- This recommendation is clearly spelled out on page 14 of the Committee's final report, and even uses a diagram on Page 13 to make it clear. Was this because Health Canada knew if NHPs were a truly separate class, they would lose the opportunity to regulate them based on what they were USED for, instead of what they ARE? What they ARE are largely food-based substances, with huge cultural and even religious significance that our bodies have evolved with, and that have been used since time immemorial.
- If tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol can all have their own act, why can't NHPs have a separate Act and a separate Ministry of Wellness, out of the hands of Health Canada?
- Four years since Health Canada's Self-Care Framework faced such strong opposition, do you find it strange and convenient that the Auditor Generals report comes out, and is the perfect excuse for Health Canada's absolutely unnecessary increase in control, using the exact same hypnotic language as Health Canada to try and manufacture consent for their initiatives?
- Why will none of the MP's come out and state the obvious... Health Canada is in the pocket of Big Pharma. Isn't this common knowledge in Ottawa?
- Health Canada's attempts to over-regulate NHP's and drive up cost of compliance for the industry, (and prices for consumers), are simply an attempt to squeeze out competition, and with ever-increasing regulations, hand over control of NHPs to the pharmaceutical industry.
If all of us take these actions, we will prevail.