Bill C-17: CHFA's Successful Legislative Efforts

On June 18, 2014

CHFA applauds The House of Commons Standing Committee on Health for passing Bill C-17 (Vanessa’s Law), Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act, in the House of Commons without removing the bill’s important exclusion of Natural Health Products (NHPs). The bill has now passed its largest legislative hurdle and has been referred to the Senate as the next step in becoming law.

CHFA has monitored Bill C-17 closely as it passed through the legislative approval process. When several vocal lobby groups bombarded members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health demanding NHPs be included in the bill, CHFA’s senior staff, Board and key members responded quickly to set the record straight on NHP safety and the robust nature of current NHP regulations in context.

During the lead up to the Health Committee hearings, CHFA met with numerous members of the committee to discuss their concerns. In addition to meetings with the Health Minister’s staff and with Health Committee officials, CHFA prepared a legislative brief for the Health Committee MPs and attended committee hearings to monitor the inaccuracies being presented about the safety of NHPs.

On Thursday, June 12th, CHFA President Helen Long and Director of Regulatory Affairs & Policy Development Carl Carter appeared before the committee to set the record straight on NHP safety and the current regulatory oversight. CHFA presented arguments outlining why the Bill, in its present form, ensures the safety of Canadians and why extending the legislation to include NHPs is not only harmful for our industry, but also a disservice to the health of the millions of Canadians who benefit from NHPs. CHFA directly corrected misinformation presented by lobby groups about NHPs.

Through mobilizing members to contact their MP in key ridings, and our strategic efforts in Ottawa, our voice was heard. CHFA’s appearance and stance on June 12th was widely endorsed by Committee members and as a result, we are pleased to announce, the NHP exclusion has been maintained.