Don: Keep Natural Health Products Accessible for all Canadians

VANCOUVER  –  MP Don Davies, NDP Health Critic, is raising the alarm about Health Canada’s proposed new regulations of natural health products.  He was joined by Rina He, editor of Health Times and Wing Pin Chong, CEO of Wing Quon Enterprises, one of Canada’s largest import-export companies of natural health products, vitamins, minerals, food supplements and herbs.

This is a very significant undertaking that will affect Canadian manufacturers and retailers, but also many consumers who use natural health products to support their well-being.  Information has been leaked that Health Canada is considering removing the Natural Product Number (NPN), stopping its certification of many products and reducing the health claims described on the products.

“Natural remedies have a long history of use as a low-risk and affordable method of promoting health.  Many Canadians rely on non-Western and self-care products to maintain and improve their health,’ Davies said.  “They must remain accessible to all Canadians.

“More importantly, we are very concerned that Health Canada is considering changes behind closed doors that will alter the way these products are labelled, harming retailers, exporters and reducing consumer information.”

The Canadian natural health products industry is a large and growing economic sector, valued at over $11 billion.  Its exports total over $1 billion annually and it employs more than 17,000 Canadians.

“This is a vital economic industry that has huge export potential,” Davies said. “These are precisely the kind of sustainable, high-value jobs that ought to be promoted and increased in our country in the decades ahead.”

“Canada’s New Democrats support an appropriate licensing category for self-care products to certify their safety and efficacy based on sound evidence.  We call on Health Canada to make sure we can protect and grow this vital health industry.”

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