CHFA Responds to Globe and Mail Article Vanessa's Law is sure to fail if herbal remedies are excluded

On May 11, 2015

On May 11, the Globe and Mail published an article written by Carly Weeks, titled Vanessa’s Law is sure to fail if herbal remedies are excluded.

The article draws inaccurate, misleading and unwarranted conclusions related to the safety and efficacy of natural health products (NHPs) in Canada.

The article states, “many companies sell goods that are contaminated with prescription medicines or other potentially dangerous substances.”  This is simply not true.  In fact, if an NHP is adulterated with a prescription drug, under Vanessa’s Law it would be considered a prescription drug and as a result would have the same consequences and penalties specified in Bill C-17.

The article also states, “Health Canada issued warnings about nearly 70 natural health products.” However, fails to mention that over 50,000 products are available for sale to Canadians, all of which have been approved by Health Canada for safety, quality and efficacy.

It is important to acknowledge that Canada is a global leader in the regulation of NHPs. Health Canada has a regulatory review process in place which requires that, in order to obtain a license to sell an NHP in Canada, companies must provide evidence supporting any claims made by the product, as well as its safety and efficacy.  NHPs that have been assessed by Health Canada for safety, efficacy and quality have been issued a Natural Product Number (NPN).

If consumers would like more information on a specific product legally licenced for sale in Canada, they can consult Health Canada’s Licensed Natural Health Products Database (LNHPD) online, which contains product-specific information on the NHPs that have been issued a product licence.

CHFA believes that Canadians should be confident in Canadian natural health products, as our country has one of the most advanced regulatory frameworks for natural health products in the world.