Home Page Election 2019 News Opinion Foreign Policy Politics Policy Legislation Lobbying Hill Life & People Hill Climbers Heard On The Hill Calendar Archives Classifieds
Hill Times Events Inside Ottawa Directory Hill Times Store Hill Times Careers The Wire Report The Lobby Monitor Parliament Now
Subscribe Free Trial Reuse & Permissions Advertising
Log In

Natural health products regulatory system works, says Assaf

Share a story
The story link will be added automatically.

Over the past month, Health Canada officials have crisscrossed the country, consulting Canadians on how they believe self-care products should be regulated and what kind of system our country should have. It is encouraging to see the government hosting sessions to inform, discuss, and solicit feedback from Canadians after online consultations were held in the fall of 2016. Canadians participated in large numbers during the online consultation and were able to have their voices heard again at followup, in-person sessions. It is important for all voices to be heard on this issue. Allowing people to make informed choices that support their healthy lifestyles, and supporting the highest standards of safety and quality for self-care products on which millions of Canadians rely is a shared priority.

As a member of the natural health community and an involved member of the Canadian Health Food Association, I have seen first-hand the effort that has gone into advocating for the government to take the right steps to ensure the integrity and credibility of our world-leading natural health products regulations. As a retailer, I have heard from customers who have voiced their concerns. In Canada, 79 per cent of consumers report using natural health products (NHPs) to support their healthy lifestyles. It is no surprise that many of these people were distressed by the proposal tabled last year, as there were several items of concern. I support building on the strengths of our system, which emphasizes safety, quality, and choice, and I cannot stress enough how important it is for industry to have as much detail as possible about the proposed changes to allow for informed feedback during the consultation process.

Supporters of the plan Health Canada has put forward have said that it is too difficult and, in some cases, costly to get some lower-risk self-care products on store shelves. This is a well-intentioned position, but the solution put forward to categorize all self-care products, namely NHPs, cosmetics, and non-prescription drugs, based on their risk profile into a single framework could pose unintended negative consequences on some products.

Many NHPs have undergone rigorous clinical trials and are supported by scientific evidence. Others have been used in cultures around the world for thousands of years with ample evidence for their safety and effectiveness, while posing little or no risk to Canadian consumers. The current regulatory system works to ensure safety and a diversity of choice in products for people from all cultures. It should stay that way. Health Canada has heard this during their consultations to date, and as someone who talks to Canadians every day, they will continue to hear it.

Robert Assaf
owner, Kardish Health Food Centres
vice-chair, board of directors, Canadian Health Food Association

Politics This Morning

Get the latest news from The Hill Times

Politics This Morning


Your email has been added. An email has been sent to your address, please click the link inside of it to confirm your subscription.

McKenna wins re-election in Ottawa Centre, trumpets voters’ support for climate fight

News|By Neil Moss
'I’m so relieved,' Catherine McKenna said, about continuing with the Liberal climate change plan.

Election 2019 was a ‘campaign of fear,’ say pollsters

'There may well be a message to this to the main parties, that slagging each other will only take you so far,' says Greg Lyle.

Election 2019 campaign one of the most ‘uninspiring, disheartening, and dirtiest’ in 40 years, says Savoie

News|By Abbas Rana
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says she has never seen an election where mudslinging overwhelmingly dominated the campaign, leaving little or no time for policy discussion.

Strategic voting to determine if Liberals will form government, say political players

News|By Abbas Rana
As many as nine per cent of progressive voters could vote strategically in this close election potentially affecting the outcome in more than 100 ridings, says Innovative Research president Greg Lyle.

Turkish offensive should pressure feds to act on repatriation of Canadian citizens in Kurdish-controlled ISIS detention camps, says expert

News|By Neil Moss
The issue of repatriation will be less politically fraught after the election, says expert.

Business tops experience among 2019 candidates, one-third have run for office before

Here’s an analysis of the record 1,700-plus candidates running for the six major parties this election.

Pod save us all: the growing role of political podcasts in election 2019

News|By Mike Lapointe
The Hill Times spoke with some podcast hosts taking a deeper dive into the political nitty-gritty, within a medium that only continues to grow in popularity.

No-shows from Conservative candidate could hurt party’s chances in tight Kanata-Carleton race, say politicos

News|By Palak Mangat
The Conservative's candidate, Justin McCaffrey, has skipped two events, including a debate on the environment, intended to feature all candidates.

For whom will the bell toll in Peterborough-Kawartha?

In a riding where voters are deeply engaged in the political process, candidates avoid the low-hanging fruit and stay out of the mud as they grapple with who to send to the House of Commons.
Your group subscription includes premium access to Politics This Morning briefing.