Save Our Supplements

Health Canada is proposing to change the way natural health products are regulated. Three of the many changes proposed could:

• reduce the oversight some of these products receive;

• reduce the amount of information available to you about the natural health products you rely on, and;

• increase the cost of products.

Canada is a global leader in regulating natural health products and we’d like to keep it that way. You can help by letting your MP know that you disagree with the proposed changes. Please take a minute to send this pre-written letter today.

Help us reach our goal of 100,000 letters sent!

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Proposing Less Product Oversight

Under the existing Natural Health Products Regulations, Health Canada reviews all natural health products and only approves them if sufficient evidence is submitted to show that each product is safe, effective, and high-quality. But now, Health Canada is proposing that only products considered high-risk and some products that are considered moderate-risk will be reviewed. Health Canada will not review products that are in the low-risk category. Instead, these products will be allowed to go to market right away, meaning that anyone can begin selling products without any review from the department in our government that is responsible for public health and safety.

Sending a letter to your MP today lets him or her know that you disagree with this change, and want to be sure that Health Canada has reviewed every product on the market for its safety, quality, and efficacy.

Proposing Less Information

Health Canada’s proposed changes will limit the information available on the packaging of many of these low-risk products. Instead, some of these products will have a generic statement on their label about what they contain, not how they can be used, as well as a disclaimer noting that the product has not be reviewed by Health Canada.

Example of a current label

Example of a label if the proposed changes are passed:

By removing much of the information available about these products, consumers will be unable to make informed purchasing decisions, and as a result, many of these products will be forced to be pulled from store shelves. Those that remain will likely become more expensive to compensate for re-labelling costs and reduced sales.

Let’s stop these proposed changes before it’s too late. Take a minute now to send a letter to your MP.

About Canada’s Existing Natural Health Products Regulations

Canada is a global leader in regulating natural health products. In fact, every product legally available for sale in the country is reviewed by Health Canada and only approved if sufficient evidence is provided for safety, efficacy and quality. These products include:

  • vitamins and minerals;
  • herbal remedies;
  • probiotics;
  • traditional medicines like traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine;
  • homeopathic medicines; and
  • other products like amino acids and essential fatty acids.

Canadian consumers can be confident that the products they choose have been approved by looking for the eight-digit Natural Product Number (NPN) on the label. This number is fully traceable through the Licensed Natural Health Products Database, which provides all of the information available about the product.

The current regulations were put in place in 2004 after a thorough review performed by the Standing Committee on Health, which consulted with consumer groups, Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, international regulators, and reviewed feedback submitted over a six-month period. In contrast, the changes Health Canada is now proposing are based on a single consumer survey and just six weeks of consultation, which ended on October 24.

But it’s not too late to let Health Canada know you disagree with these changes. Please take a minute to send a letter to your Member of Parliament today. A letter from a constituent like you which outlines your concern about this issue sends a powerful message to an MP. They in turn can express your concerns with the Minister of Health or even directly to the Prime Minister.

Canada is already a global leader in regulating natural health products. Let’s keep it that way.

Learn more

This proposal is trying to fix a system that is not broken and will be a step backward instead of forward. Our current regulations take into account the unique properties and low-risk nature of these products, ensuring you have access to NHPs that are safe, effective and high-quality, while respecting your freedom of choice, and the philosophical and cultural diversity of our country.

Want to find out more?

Click here to sign up for our newsletter and receive updates about this proposal as they develop, as well as information about vitamins, supplements and natural living tips. 

Click here to find out more about these proposed changes and how they will impact you.

Click here for a list of frequently asked questions (F.A.Q.s) about Health Canada's proposal.

Click here to read our latest blog detailing these recent developments. 

Click here to learn more about the existing NHP Regulations.