CHFA meets with Elected Officials and Health Canada to call for a major overhaul in Food & Drugs Act
(TORONTO) May 16, 2008 - Today, the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) launched a postcard lobby campaign to build on the association’s recent advocacy efforts aimed at addressing member concerns about Bill C-51.
“While CHFA supports the government’s commitment to ensuring Canadians are provided with foods and products that are safe and effective, our members cannot support legislation that categorizes Natural Health Products (NHPs) as therapeutic products together with drugs and medical devices,” said Penelope Marrett, CHFA President and CEO. “This bill views NHPs through the lens of pharmaceutical drugs and that is just not right for consumers.”
CHFA has met with numerous Members of Parliament and officials over the last few weeks including testifying before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health and meeting with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health. The aim has been to educate M.P.s about the need to create a separate category for NHPs that recognize their low risk nature and that the current Regulations and their interpretation need to reflect the low-risk nature of NHPs and their demonstrated benefits.
“Canadians want to have continued access and choice to high quality and effective Natural Health Products, said Marrett. “ The government has a responsibility to ensure that any amended legislation recognizes that NHPs are neither foods nor drugs. And that access to these important products will continue now and into the future to be available to Canadians working to achieve optimal health and well-being.”
CHFA continues to lobby hard with Parliamentarians to remind them that cross-Canada hearings in the mid 1990s led the Standing Committee on Health to conclude that NHPs were neither food nor drugs, which required a separate definition under the Act and unique regulations. In 2004, the Natural Health Product Regulations came into force.
“We have had very positive meetings with government to date on this issue and have heard the Minister’s support for Natural Health Products in the House of Commons,” added Penelope Marrett. “The fact is, we need the appropriate legislative and regulatory action to match these commitments and make sure we have a system that truly serves Canadians.”
For more information on the postcard campaign and NHP and Organics industry, visit www.chfa.ca
The Canadian Health Food Association (www.chfa.ca) is Canada’s largest national trade association dedicated to the natural and organic products industry. Our members represent the entire supply chain including growers, manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and importers involved in a variety of industry sub-sectors such as vitamin and mineral supplements, herbal products, homeopathics, sports nutrition products, natural and organic foods, fibres and health and beauty aids. CHFA member products support Canadians seeking optimal health and quality of life.