CDN: Natural Health Products Report - Update

Source: NHP Report

Health Canada Issues a Consumer Alert

On January 16, 2002, Health Canada has put out a consumer Advisory Alert on kava-kava. The Advisory applies to products that have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) and those that do not. In light of reports of liver toxicity related to the use of kava-kava products in Europe, Health Canada is reviewing the safety of kava and once the safety assessment is completed, it is anticipated that further action will be forthcoming, including a possible recall of all products containing kava. Health care practitioners are also asked to report any adverse effects including liver toxicity to Health Canada officials. Kava is found in herbal and homeopathic preparations and is used to treat anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, pain and muscle tension. It is also now found in many functional food products and beverages. Kava-Kava is one of the top ten best selling botanicals (number 9#) in Canada and it is anticipated that sales will further decline due to negative publicity surrounding this Advisory Alert.

New Natural Health Products Regulations Now in CG1

The new rules governing nhps was finally published in Canada Gazette, Part 1 (CG 1) on December 22, 2001. This is in keeping with the government timetable which hopes to proceed to CG2 by the spring of 2002 at which time they will be appended to the Food & Drug Act (F&DA).

Set out for the first time is a definition of "natural health product", an item having "two compoenents to it, a function component and a substance component. The function component relates to the intent of the NHP definition, which is to capture those substances which are manufaturered, sold or represented for use in:

a) the diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of a disease, disorder or abnormal physical state or its symptions in humans;

b) restoring or correcting organic functions in humans; or,

c) maintining or promoting health or otherwise modifying organic functions in humans."

Covered under the new regs is any plant, or plant material, alga, fungus or non-human animal material, extract or isolate of these items in which the primarly molecular structure of which is identical to that which it had prior to its extraction or isolation, vitamins (biotin, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, A, B1,2,6,12, C,ascorbic acid, D, E, K), any animo acid or any of its salts, EFAs, minerals, and probiotics.

The new proposed regulations include product licensing provisions, site licensing, GMP requirements, labelling and packaging requirements. Pre-market approval for nhps will be required before any product can be sold in Canada.

Refer to the Health Canada website, (For viewpoint, refer to article on page 11).

GCI Moves to New Digs

GCI Nutrients (Canada) Inc., has moved to 385 Lynn Avenue, North Vancouver, BC, V7J 2C4. "Our new facilities will enable us to provide our customers with the high quality service they have come to expect from us", states President, Yda Brink. Phone and fax numbers remain the same at 604-903-7333, fax: 604-903-7332. A supplier of botanical and nutraceutical raw materials, the company celebrated its 5th year anniversary this year.

Sales Agents

Bio-Plex Products Inc., a manufacturer of non-alcoholic herbal tinctures, capsules, salves, lotions and personal care products based in Nedelec, Quebec, is seeking two sales representatives, one for Western Canada and one for Eastern Canada. The company has expanded their operations and have opened up a new office in Laval at 67 D Blvd., Samson West to better service their accounts. They have also recently hired two sales representatives, Mr. Michel Larocque of Sudbury, ON, to service Ontario accounts and Mrs. Anne Loiselle who will handle Quebec accounts. The company has launched their new bilingual website,

Bio-Plex has also created a brand new line of products for therapists and other holistic practitioners. The TRILOGIK line consists of a kit of three products, an encapsulated herbal blend, a non-alcoholic tincture and a massage oil with essential oils. For information, and to send your resume, please call 1-800-668-4534 and speak to Mr. Serge Guenette, National Sales Manager.

PanGeo Third Quarter Results

PanGeo Pharma Inc. (TSE:PIL) a specialty pharmaceutical company released its Third Quarter results (ending October 31, 2001) recently. The company manufactures and supplies a range of specialty pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals to both Canadian and international markets. Third quarter revenues increased to $17.5 million from $13.0 million from previous year. Operating Income (EBITDA) was $2.8 million compared to same quarter results of $1.1 million last year. Net income grew to $2.0 million compared to last year $253 thousand. When compared to the previous nine months (ending October 31, 2001), net income grew to $3.7 million compared to $169 thousand.

Earlier this year, PanGeo purchased Herbal Health Inc., a US branded liquid herbal company manufactuerer of the Essential Solutions line distributed to over 12,000 U.S. retail stores including Rite-Aid, Albertson’s, Natures Best, Savon/Osco Drugs and GNC.

In November, PanGeo announced that its Canapharm private label division finalized a deal to supply acetaminophen items to Wal-Mart Canada, beginning January 2002.

Canapharm, the private label division of PanGeo Pharma, also recently hired Mr. Henry Gallwitz formerly with Stanley Pharmacueticals/Vita Health as Director, Private Label Sales. The company supplies such chains as Shoppers Drug Mart, Hy & Zels and Zellers. PanGeo website is

Rhema Expands to New Facilities

Canadian custom manufacturer Rhema Industries, Ltd. has moved to new custom-built facilities at 1751 Brigantine Drive, Coquitlam, BC, V3K 7B4. According to Charles Redden, President and CEO, "the new building allows us to consolidate all our activities; previously we worked out of four different locations." The new facility is GMP compliant and has a license for the manufacture and packaging of pharmaceuticals. The new building has 12,000 sq. ft. of plant space which can be expanded with an added 50,000 sq. ft. of warehousing.

"Along with the favourable exchange rate, our increased plant capacity means that we can take Rhema to the next level. We have seen our North American business grow and we anticipate further growth in manufacturing for the domestic US market given our low dollar", stated Redden.

The company has also hired new staff and promoted others. Joining the company this past fall are Doug Robertson as Director of Quality &

Compliance. He formerly served with Vita Health (Stanley Pharmaceuticals) and has over 20 years in QC/QA.

Frank Wong has been promoted to Director of Technical Services and Product Development, and Carmine Di Giovanni is now the National Sales Manager. Wong joined Rhema last year and was formerly with Sisu Enterprises. Di Giovanni who joined the company in 1998 has extensive experience in the natural products industry. For information, contact Rhema Industries Ltd., at 1-800-60-RHEMA or visit

30th Anniversary Bash for Donmar

Donmar Foods Incorporated of Aurora, Ontario is celebrating their 30th anniversary. Incorporated in the fall of 1971, they established a health food division in 1979 to distribute quality supplements, cosmetic and body care products. Donmar Health & Beauty Products is the exclusive Canadian distributor for Annemarie Borlind Cosmetics and Sun Chlorella. In 2000, Donmar introduced their own dfi line of supplements under the dfi logo and daisy label. Throughout the next 12 months Donmar will be offering anniversary specials to their customers. Call 1-800-757-4531/905-726-3463 or visit their website at: for information.

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