Sunday, May 25, 2008

Critics blast new rules for natural remedies

From the Globe and Mail:
'Most of the herbal remedies for sale in Canada may soon be illegal."

"Canadian parents who give their children vitamins could face arrest."

"Federal agents will enter private property and fine mom-and-pop stores $5-million for arbitrary offences."

These are some of the questionable claims being spread online and through e-mail as part of a strident campaign led by the natural-health industry against the federal government's proposed changes to improve the quality and safety of natural health products in Canada.
One website makes the exaggerated claim that Canadians may lose the right to buy natural health products under the new law.

More than 40,000 people have joined several Facebook groups created to oppose amendments to Canada's Food and Drugs Act, known as Bill C-51. Several websites have popped up in recent weeks asking Canadians to sign petitions and call their members of Parliament to protest against the changes, which they say will ban up to 75 per cent of herbs and vitamins in Canada.

But in reality, medical experts say the changes probably won't have a major impact on the way natural health products are marketed and sold in Canada. In fact, they may finally bring accountability to a largely unregulated industry that has typically been able to market products with little proof of their effectiveness and limited safety guarantees, according to Lloyd Oppel, a physician responsible for health promotion at the British Columbia Medical Association. ...more

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