Canada’s Bill C-51
An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
Proposed legislation brought forth to Parliament in April, 2008 could potentially have a major impact on natural health in Canada and restrict the choices Canadian people have when it comes to health products.
Highlights from the Urgent Member bulletin summarizing Bill C51 from the Canadian Health Food Association:
WHAT IS BILL C-51? THE FACTS
FACT: Legislation tabled April 8, 2008 by the federal government that proposes amendments to the Food & Drugs Act
FACT: Potential significant negative impact on the natural health products and foods industries. Currently, it does not affect the implementation or enforcement of the NHP (Natural Health Product) Regulations
FACT: Proposes new increased enforcement powers, increased penalties to all sectors of the industry including retailers
FACT: Redefines natural health products, cosmetics, medical devices and cells, tissues & organs as “therapeutic products”
FACT: The current Bill does NOT remove products from your shelves
FACT: We have to work together for change NOW; we need a SEPARATE Category for Natural Health Products
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
A third category, as promised in the 1998 Standing Committee on Health’s Report, is critical at this time
We want our products to stay on store shelves; we need to work together
Bill C-51 pushes natural health products closer to the pharmaceutical model
Potential for limited product availability due to increased powers for inspectors to enforce the regulations and achieve compliance
Increased penalties for non-compliance; monetary penalties are the same whether you are a small retail operation or a large multi-national
There are many potential negative issues around Bill C-51; we need a clear understanding of all the implications to our industry.
More information below from the Draft Discussion Paper – Legal Review [PDF – 72k] by Shawn Buckley, president of the NHPPA (Natural Health Products Protection Agency):
What the Act does: the Act gives broad power and responsibility to Health Canada inspectors to force “regulated persons to take whatever measures the inspectors deem necessary to ensure safety. I am troubled by this due to the following scenario developing:
1) currently roughly 60% of natural health product license applications are failing. The majority of these license applications are for single ingredient products which are easier to license then multi-ingredient products. The percentage of failed license applications is expected to increase as more multi-ingredient product license applications are considered. My estimate is an overall failure rate of 70%. This means that over 60% of the natural health products on the market will fail the licensing process and will become illegal. At that point the manufacturer can willfully withdraw them from the market or Health Canada can take enforcement action;
2) the NHPD has been given more resources to process license applications which means that the majority of the products will become illegal sooner rather than later;
3) Health Canada is currently going to universities to recruit university graduates as inspectors because Health Canada anticipates an increased need for enforcement, and
4) Bill C-51 gives inspectors new powers to force products off of the market.
Concerned? ~ Here is what you can do to take action!
- Read Bill C-51 or download the print-version PDF [344kb].
- Contact your Member of Parliament ASAP. Inform him/her that:
- -you are opposed to Bill C-51;
- – you want him/her to vote against Bill C-51;
- – you want your access to natural health products protected.
- Contact your Member of ParliamentÃ‚Â representative.
- Send handwritten letters of concern to all members of Parliament,
- – your local MP;
- – Prime Minister Stephen Harper;
- – Tony Clement, Minister of Health.
- You can send your letters withoutÃ‚Â postage to:(Name of person) > House of Commons > Ottawa, ON > K1A 0A6
- Best bet: send a stamped envelope with your comments to:
- Carmen DePape – Clerk of Standing Committee on Health 131 Queen Street Room 5-80. Fifth Floor Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
- Ask her to copy your letter to ALL MEMBERS OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE. This means your letter goes to one hundred Members of Parliament!
- Review and print an excellent sample letter outlining the concerns of the current bill. Click here to download it in pdf form.
- Phone your MP and the Prime Minister’s Office to voice your concerns. Dial toll-free 1-866-599-4999 and ask to be transferred to any MPs office.
- The hours of this service are: Monday – Thursday, 8:30 – 6:00 pm Eastern standard time. Friday only, 8:30 – 5:00 pm Eastern Standard time.
- Stephen Harper’s phone numbers are (613) 992-4211 and (403) 253-7990. Tony Clement’s phone numbers are (613) 944-7740 and (705) 746-9053.
For more information…
Trojan Horse Legislation Sponsored by Big Pharma: “Canadians need to wake up and see what type of Bills that the Harper Conservative government is trying to introduce and bring into law in Canada.”
If successfully passed, Bill C-51 will:
- Remove democratic oversight, bypassing elected officials to vote in laws and allow bureaucrats to adopt laws from other countries without our consent.
- Remove 70% of Natural Health Products from Canadians and many others will be available by prescription only.
- Restrict research and development of safe natural alternatives in favor of high risk drugs.
- Punish Canadians with little or no opportunity for protection or recourse for simply speaking about or giving a natural product without the approval of government. More than 70% of people in Canada use a Natural Health Product. The new law goes so far as to warrant action against a person who would give another person an unapproved amount of garlic on the recommendation that it would improve that person’s health.
- It would become an offence not to follow the instructions of a Health Canada Inspector regardless of whether that direction creates a health risk. Natural Health Practitioners who are told to stop providing a treatment will be committing an offence if they continue to help their patients. Manufacturers of Natural Health Products will be committing an offence if they continue to provide products people rely upon for their health. In effect, Bill C-51 enables Inspectors without medical training to make health decisions; the scope of the definition of “sell” is expanded in a manner that will include single sales of compounded NHPs by natural health practitioners in a clinic environment.
- Fines for violations are increased by unprecedented factors of 500 and 1000 times. Directors and officers are made personally liable. Few in the NHP Community could survive a prosecution if Bill C-51 passes;
- Inspectors can seize private property for any reason, for any length of time, and without judicial oversight or pre-approval; Inspectors can destroy seized property without Court approval; Property owners are liable for seizure, transportation and destruction costs regardless of whether the seizure and destruction was justified.
It is your right to choose your health products and therapies — Stop government from enforcing U.S. law and other jurisdictions upon Canadians without consent — Stop C-51.
For more information visit
For additional Sample Letters to the Minister of Health
-click here to download a sample letter in pdf form.
-for more sample letters and for a greater understanding about how new laws become passed, visit: