Bill C-51 is part of our government’s strategy to ensure food and products that are available on the Canadian Market are safe for consumers. The purpose of this legislation is to target those few who would break the law, and by doing so, level the playing field for law-abiding Canadian businesses.
Natural Health Products are already a separate category in the regulations of the Food and Drugs Act. They are not regulated as drugs, and Bill C-51 won’t change that.
There are many cases of adulterated Natural Health Products, such as the pills “Sleepees” that were the subject of national media stories, and Canadians want us to make sure they’re safe. Products that make health claims must be regulated; otherwise they can be sold as foods.
It is reasonable that if any product makes claims that it will cure or improve the health of a user, there should be reasonable scientific evidence to support the claim. Also, there needs to be proper labeling to ensure the user that the Health Food Product they are taking does not compromise or have adverse health effects on any prescription drugs they may be taking.
Bill C-51 will not remove Natural Health Products from the market nor will it shift the market to the large pharmaceutical companies. This Bill was specifically drafted in order to allow for increased flexibility to regulate products proportional to their relative risk.
I am a supporter and user of Natural Health Products and I feel comfortable with this bill. My concern is, as with any legislation, that it would be administered in a common sense and reasonable way. I will be monitoring the implementation as we go forward.
I invite you to visit: www.healthycanadians.ca/
I will be following this bill very closely as it is debated in the House of Commons.
Colin Mayes MP Okanagan-Shuswap