Share The Wealth by Chris Gupta
December 31, 2003

New year brings new herbal regulations

Well it's started...

See also:

Health Canada Harassment to Stop Vitamin Supplements that Work

Health Canada poised to make natural products into drugs ...

Pharmaceutical Quality Control Myth

Snake hiding in the grass exposed!

Chris Gupta

New year brings new herbal regulations
Last Updated Tue, 30 Dec 2003 21:37:58

EDMONTON - Several health-food store products may no longer be available after Health Canada begins regulating herbs, dietary supplements, natural and traditional medicines on Jan. 1.

John Biggs Since natural remedies such as ginko are neither drugs nor foods, the products fell into a regulatory void. Federal health officials can only act if a product claims to treat a disease or is shown to be unsafe. Nutritionist John Biggs in Edmonton sees rough days ahead for natural health products, which will now be controlled by Health Canada. In Canada, the industry's sales add up to $500 million annually. "Well, the emotion here is certainly one of suspicion," said Biggs. "And also one of confusion."

FROM NOV. 24, 2003:Many stores ignoring kava kava ban: study

Last year, Health Canada found it can be difficult to enforce the regulations. Officials ordered retailers to stop selling the herbal sedative kava kava. Many retailers continued to sell the relaxant, defying the order and saying other herbal remedies have potential side effects. The new regulations set out minimum standards for quality, purity and safety of all natural products. The aim of the regulations is to help consumers make informed choices, according to Dr. Phil Waddington of the Natural Health Products Directorate.

"I see that as a very good thing because at least the companies have to demonstrate that (for) the product they're making, there is evidence that it works for the indication that they want to put on the label," said pharmacology Prof. Heather Boone of the University of Toronto. The demand for evidence may force some imported products off the market if they can't meet basic tests for safety and effectiveness.

FROM JAN. 11, 2001:Rules for herbal remedies could put us out of business: growers

Critics say smaller companies will be forced to go under because they can't afford new labels and testing. Health Canada says it opens the market, even to products previously withdrawn, such as kava kava. "If we're able to come up with a way the product can be safely marketed then we would definitely review that," said Waddington. Although the new regulations will be phased in over six years, Biggs says he's already feeling the effects. An American distributor told him it is suspending sales of 60 products, saying it doesn't want to bother with the new costs in Canada.

Written by CBC News Online staff


posted by Chris Gupta on Wednesday December 31 2003
updated on Saturday September 24 2005

URL of this article:



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