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Why is Canada's Government Attacking Supplements?

Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act (aka Vanessa's Law) received royal assent on June 22, 2023 to include Natural Health Products. What does this mean for you as someone who are interested in supplementing your body with Nature's natural medicines in her Apothecary? Vanessa’s Law is a piece of 2014 legislation that requires the reporting of serious adverse effects for medications used within the Canadian health-care system.

canada's natural health
Why is the government regulating Nature herself?

Canada's Government has attempted to story tell this legislation move as in some way protecting people, but the Royal Assent to this very drastic change in the law was done with NO CONSULTATION with people and stakeholders whose quality of life has improved dramatically due to these natural health supplements.

The Natural Supplements Regulation Changes

The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) has done an excellent job of explaining what a slap in the face this legislation is to the health of people in Canada.

In 2014, the Self-Care Framework was proposed, separating lower-risk products (over-the-counter medication, cosmetics and NHPs) from pharmaceutical drugs. Yet almost ten years later, this framework remains incomplete. Despite this, Health Canada continues to push through regulatory changes, like new labelling requirements and the proposed new cost recovery program in a piecemeal approach while dealing with massive backlogs in product applications. These changes disregard the original framework and do nothing to combat foreign, unmonitored, and unregulated products which are easily accessible through international online marketplaces.

If you look at the Canadian Government's website in terms of Vanessa's law you can see that they are up to their methods of simply updating the definitions of terms.

The definition of "therapeutic product" has been revised in the Food and Drugs Act to include natural health products.
The key authorities in the Food and Drugs Act that come into force immediately for natural health products are:
- Order a recall of NHPs that present a serious or imminent risk of injury to human health
- Require a label change or package modification, if necessary, to prevent serious injury to health
- Impose higher fines and penalties for non-compliance
- Order a person to provide information to determine if a product presents a serious risk of injury to human health
- Disclose confidential business information in circumstances where the product may present a serious risk of injury to human health or for the protection or promotion of human health or the safety of the public
- Incorporate by reference, and
- Prohibit false or misleading statements or information made to the Minister

If you look at the Canadian Government's website in terms of Vanessa's law you can see that they are up to their methods of simply updating the definitions of terms.

Now the interesting thing about all of this is the amount of additional powers that these updates to the legislation give to the Minister of Health. Under the guise of the safety of the public this very strong armed approach has been given. They threaten jail time and a 5 million dollar fine for non-compliance.

natural medicine

My proposal as someone whom has worked in the Supplement Industry as well as been a personal trainer is to continue to fight for your right to leverage what you need to live a healthy and balanced life. I have healed my hormones and my body through the very mindful use of supplementing my diet with appropriate substances in nature that my body personally operates better on is to reorient your language when it comes to speaking about supplements.

This advice goes for me too.

The point is that every person should have personal choice. You can have an adverse event by drinking too many cups of coffee along with certain ingredients. Are they expecting Starbucks to add labels to all of their coffees regarding how much caffeine is in them? The updates in the bill don't allow for the nuance that is needed for every individual person to gain an understanding of what their bodies need.

It seems as though the Government of Canada wants to enforce their idea of what it means to be healthy on you.

The way out of it is the definition of terms. It's not a supplement, it's a condiment. It's a life enhancing condiment. There are no clear lines and barriers when it comes to inner body alchemy either. And everyone is unique, you could have an allergic reaction to peanut butter - it doesn't mean we plaster it with labels as such. We all have a responsibility as human beings that have a body to fight for that body's ability to live this life in the way that we choose.

What are your thoughts on this attack on Supplements by the Government in Canada?


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