CHFA is proud to be the voice of the natural health industry. As CHFA President, I am proud to be our organization’s voice. From the latest updates on issues affecting our industry, to my personal insights on professional life, my blog, "The Long Story", is a collection of thoughts and ideas that will give you a unique perspective into our industry.
On February 3, 2017
The recent Marketplace episode “How not to lose weight: Green tea extracts” fails to acknowledge that Canada has one of the most advanced regulatory frameworks for natural health products (NHPs) in the world and that consumers have every reason to be confident in Canadian NHPs.
We believe this type of selective media reporting, sensationalizing rare and perhaps unconnected cases, vastly overemphasizes risks and paints a highly distorted picture of the situation.
To put this into perspective, Health Canada provides a reporting and review framework for any adverse reactions to medicines or NHPs experienced by Canadians. Statistics collected by Health Canada clearly demonstrate that when taken as directed, adverse reactions to NHPs licensed for sale in Canada are extremely rare.
It is also important to note that all NHPs authorized for sale in Canada must provide appropriate evidence supporting their health claims before being approved for sale. Evidence required may include clinical trial data or references to published studies, journals, pharmacopoeias and traditional resources. The type and amount of supporting evidence required depends on the proposed health claim of the product and its overall risks.
With over 79 per cent of Canadians using NHPs, it is important to acknowledge that NHPs have a long history of safe use. CHFA supports the current regulatory framework and encourages Health Canada to continue appropriately reviewing all products, educating Canadians and ensuring they have the freedom to choose safe and high-quality products.
Finally, CHFA always recommends anyone taking an NHP to consult their health care practitioner, and to always read and follow the label.