AHPA Urges Canada to Allow Organic Labeling for Natural Health Products

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) must expand the scope of the proposed Organic Products Regulation (OPR) to include natural health products (NHPs) in order to avoid disrupting trade and increasing consumer confusion, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) states in comments submitted April 29.

As proposed, the OPR would make NHPs, the regulatory category under which many herbal products are sold in Canada, ineligible for organic certification and use of the “Canada Organic Regime” logo – the country’s equivalent to the “USDA Organic” logo – on product packaging and marketing materials.

“AHPA urges CFIA to reconsider its proposal to exclude organic medicinal herbal teas, tinctures, fluid extracts, syrups, lozenges, ointments, glycerites and organic herbal powders in capsules or tablets from the OPR,” said AHPA President Michael McGuffin. “The association strongly believes that to do otherwise would place undue burdens on many marketers of organic herbal products in Canada and would reduce demand in Canada for organically cultivated herbal crops.”

While AHPA recognizes NHPD has sole authority to ensure that NHPs comply with all of the aspects of NHPD’s regulation of this class, AHPA also recognizes the Canada Agriculture Production Act (CAPA) can and should be read to include NHPs within the mandate. A more efficient enforcement of the proposed OPR for NHPs may be able to be achieved by entering into one or more inter-agency memoranda of understanding (MOUs), for example with NHPD, AHPA suggests.

“AHPA has in the past been diligent in preserving the right of herbal marketers to sell dietary supplements in the U.S. in conformity with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program,” McGuffin said. “We will be equally diligent in preserving such rights in Canada.”

AHPA’s comments are available online: http://www.ahpa.org/portals/0/pdfs/09_0429_AHPA_Representation_Canada_Organic_Products_Regulations.pdf

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is the only national trade association devoted to herbal issues. Representing the core of the botanical trade—comprised of the finest growers, processors, manufacturers and marketers of herbal products—our mission is to promote the responsible commerce of herbal products. AHPA committees generate self-regulations to ensure the highest level of quality with respect to the way herbal products are manufactured, labeled, and sold. Website: www.ahpa.org.

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