Created on 6/23/2021 11:41:46 AM
Ottawa, June 23, 2021 — This week, the Health Minister’s Office confirmed that they intend to move forward with their proposed approach to re-label natural health products (NHPs), despite an industry coalition raising the need to prioritize enforcement and consumer safety over an onerous and ineffective new labelling initiative.
Health Canada’s proposed new labelling regulations are on their way to Treasury Board for publication in Canada Gazette, Part I. These regulations would deliver little – if any – benefit to Canadians, be extremely costly to industry, put jobs at risk, and limit the availability of products on store shelves for the 70% of Canadians who regularly use such products to maintain their health and prevent minor health problems.
The natural health product (NHP) industry contributes $4 billion to our economy, includes a significant portion of small businesses, employs thousands of Canadians across the country and includes products heavily relied on by Canadians, especially in ethnic communities.
Health Canada’s approach is unacceptable to our industry coalition made up of Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada, Canadian Health Food Association, Chamber of Chinese Herbal Medicine of Canada, Canadian Natural Products Association, the Direct Sellers Association of Canada and the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada.
Instead of adding new, costly labels for companies that are following the rules, we are calling on the Minister of Health to direct her department to prioritize stepped up enforcement of the existing requirements. After the Auditor General (AG) reported in April that the majority of the NHPs they obtained online were not compliant with the current regulations, Health Canada should prioritize the real risk to consumers and focus on enforcement against non-compliant products.