Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

Networking For A Better Future - News and perspectives you may not find in the media

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May 07, 2008

Canada: Bill C-51 threatens natural health products

On April 8th, Canada’s Minister of Health, Tony Clement, introduced Bill C-51 into the House of Commons. If passed, that bill will drastically alter the current Food and Drugs Act, and that will be bad news for many Canadians. According to an article on the Common Ground website, "expectations are that if Federal Bill C-51 is passed, around 75 percent of new applications will most likely fail to meet new requirements."


Canada has traditionally been liberal, favoring availability of nutrient-containing products to people wishing to use vitamins and minerals for their preventive or even curative health needs. But some time in the 90s, a world wide campaign was started to curtail the use of nutritional supplements in health care in favor of pharmaceutical medicines.

The US FDA's intention to limit vitamin dosages to RDA levels was blocked by an overwhelming consumer driven campaign which eventually resulted in liberal legislation, the so-called Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) in 1993/94. In Europe, the early 90s saw the first attempt to pass a food supplements law, which after some delay was issued in 2004 as the Food Supplements Directive. Codex Alimentarius started talking about limiting supplements in 1994. More recently, Australia and New Zealand were supposed to harmonize in the direction of Australia's restrictive model which considers supplements "therapeutic goods" or medicines. New Zealand has successfully resisted so far. In Canada, there was resistance to change and finally a parliamentary committee was charged with finding a way to control supplements.

Shawn Buckley's Common Ground article gives some specifics on what happened before the introduction of the recent bill:

On November 4, 1998, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health tabled its report, titled “Natural Health Products: A New Vision”. The report contained 53 recommendations, all of which were accepted by the Government on March 2, 1999. The first recommendation read that "Health Canada, in conjunction with a new separate Natural Health Products Expert Advisory Committee (EAC) should set out an appropriate definition of natural health products (NHPs) and amend the Food and Drugs Act accordingly." However, for expediency, a regulatory definition was created and implemeted instead of amending the law; Natural Health Products (NHPs) would be considered as drugs under the Food and Drugs Act. In Health Canada's page of Frequently Asked Questions, the following response was given for the question of why the Act was not amended:

"While creating another category distinct from both food and drugs was considered, an amendment at the level of the Act would have been necessary. Due to the timelines and legislative process required for a change of this magnitude, it was decided that natural health products would be considered drugs under the Act, but with a set of regulations specific to NHPs."

In effect, Health Canada is stating that they chose not to implement the direction of the government, but there was a good reason - amending the Act would take a long time and be a lot of work. However, on April 8, 2008, the Minister of Health introduced Bill C-51, An act to amend the Food and Drugs Act. This legislation introduces new definitions, including a new product category called "therapeutic products", a term that encompasses drugs, medical devices and cells used for therapeutic purposes. Despite there being an opportunity to amend the Act, an opportunity to amend definitions in the Act and include a decade-old Government directive to include Natural Health Products as a separate legal category, drafters of the bill chose not to. The question remains: why?

In effect, parliamentary deliberations were held in Canada and the results published, but the recommendations were disregarded. Did they simply not fit the broader agenda which commenced in the early 90s, of doing away with supplements as a competing approach to pharmaceuticals world wide in public health systems?

- - -

Calls to Action

There are several Calls to action for Canadians to contact their representatives and tell them to oppose and stop Bill C-51.


One of them is on (link no longer active). A major complaint is that the bill would allow administrators to set new laws on supplements, effectively bypassing the law-giving powers of Parliament. The site states that

Section 30(7) of Bill C-51 eliminates the Ability of our Elected Officials to Protect Us

1. Bypassing our elected official’s ability to vote out laws that are not the will of, or in the interest of the Canadian people.

2. Allows government agents, (not elected officials) to create binding laws behind closed doors.

3. New powers will allow enforcement of these laws by the searching and seizing of private property and bank accounts without warrants.

Global Research.Ca states in an article that Bill C-51, if passed into law, will "Outlaw 60% of Natural Health Products" and points to a rally in front of Calgary Federal Court on May 9, 2008, to "protest C-51 and help protect people's access to natural health products".

The Republican Party of Ontario on provides information and asks Canadians to help stop bills C-51.

For several years now there has been an effort on the part of the WHO and the WTO to bring in a common international standard for health products. In 2009 signatory states, like Canada, are obliged to adopt standards and guidelines that were laid down by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

Sections of Bill C-51 (section 30, paragraphs 7 - 9) will enable Health Canada to implement the Codex within Canada without adequate public consultation. The amendments could restrict the level of dosage available in nutritional supplements to questionable low levels. Dosages above a certain as yet unknown threshold could require a prescription from a physician.

The National Health Products Protection Association, under the headline Natural Health Products are Under Immediate Threat states that 75 % of natural health products could become illegal under the proposed law. The anti-supplement slant of the proposal is clear, they say, when considering the following:

There has never been a death in Canada caused by a natural health product. Considering that there are multiple deaths every year caused by common foods such as peanuts and shellfish, it is clear that natural health products are extremely safe. When you consider the health benefits of natural health products, including that many of us rely upon them for our very lives, it becomes clear that the real danger in regulating them is to “over-regulate” them off of the market.

The situation appears grave, and unless Canadians can prevail on their parliamentarians to put their foot down and say NO to the proposed laws that would give inordinate powers to the health authorities, natural health options may be severely limited.

See also:

Action: Canada: Stop Bill C-51
The Canadian government, afraid of the public reaction once people find out what they are trying to pull, is currently fast-tracking a Bill which threatens to strip you of your rights to access a wide range of natural health products. If it passes, and you buy/sell/share/collect/dry/eat/feed to your family any of the restricted stuff, you become a criminal subject to fines 1000X bigger than those currently in effect.

Canada’s C-51 Law To Outlaw 60% of Natural Health Products

Republican Party of Ontario

Health Action Network Society

The Natural Health Produces Protection Association

Canadian Coalition for Health Freedom

Canada: Bill C-51 - May 8th 2008 - Canadian Coalition for Health Freedom
"THEY will make a critical decision on Thursday May 8th 2008 on whether to schedule Bill C-51 on next week's order paper. IT IS CRITICAL THAT YOU KEEP UP THE PROTESTS AND WE HAVE CREATED A SPECIAL WEBSITE TO ASSIST IN THIS go to and / or and send the E-Action Protest letters immediately."


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Wednesday May 7 2008
updated on Friday June 26 2009

URL of this article:


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Readers' Comments

Hi Tony Clemmet;
If you don't stop the bill C-51, you are the monster killer in the word histories.
Please don't kill your families and others who need the vitamins and supplements to keep humans healthy.

Posted by: Diana B. T. Clark on May 24, 2008 01:46 PM


The bill is long overdue. At least some products of an unknown origin will be tested. Although it's not a common knowledge, many random tests have revealed the presence of led and other heavy metals, and sometimes radioactive substances in so called natural health products imported from China and other Asian countries. Many users will end up with less expensive and not glowing urine.

Posted by: Zygmunt Janiewicz on June 6, 2008 11:51 PM


Looks to me that you publish only comments you like. I've retained a printed off page of my first posting and, be sure, it'll be handed over to my MP together with my support of the bill. For your info I've been an alpine skiing coach for quite a long time and had access to laboratory test results of some "health products" and "food supplements", especially those imported from Asian countries (or made of imported ingredients). Most of them weren't so healthy, some had traces of heavy metals, others traces of radioactivity.

Posted by: Zygmunt Janiewicz on June 7, 2008 02:52 PM


Please stop bill C-51. do not be a dictator. yous truly Joe

Posted by: Joe Vandenberg on June 12, 2008 06:43 PM


I believe that these supplements do need to be regulated. My mother in law has spent a small fortune on them and believes everything the sales person tells her about them, and there's nothing stopping the salesperson from saying you should take 6 of these a day, instead of the 1 that is probably adequate, therefore making her 6x more profit, she's also convinced her not to take anything prescribed by a doctor, because the doctors are lining their pockets with each rx written, I think the supplement salesperson is lining their pockets a lot more than the doctors are and they need to be controlled!

Posted by: Joan smith on July 4, 2008 12:51 AM


you make little sense there, Joan. Supplements need to be regulated because your mother in law spends money on them? That doesn't sound like a good reason, and if there were to be regulations on supplements, they certainly would not prohibit people from selling them and others from buying them.

Posted by: Sepp on September 24, 2008 03:55 PM


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The Individual Is Supreme And Finds Its Way Through Intuition


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

These articles are brought to you strictly for educational and informational purposes. Be sure to consult your health practitioner of choice before utilizing any of the information to cure or mitigate disease. Any copyrighted material cited is used strictly in a non commercial way and in accordance with the "fair use" doctrine.



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