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NHP industry meets with parliamentarians


November 3, 2009
By Maria DiDanieli

Nov. 3, Ottawa, ON -Today, the
Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) is on Parliament Hill to promote its
new campaign, SaveOurNaturalHealthProducts.ca, and to bring awareness to
problems faced by Canada's
Natural Health Products and Organic Industry.



CHFA
believes that Canadians seeking optimal health and well-being should continue
to have access to innovative high quality natural health products, as well as a
wide selection of high-quality organics. However both of these industries
currently face serious challenges in their efforts to meet growing consumer
demand.

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Since the Natural Health Products (NHP) Regulations were implemented six years
ago, the natural health products sector has worked hard to comply with over
41,000 product license applications submitted to the Natural Health Product
Directorate (NHPD) of Health Canada.
After five years, just over 16,000 applications have been approved for a
license, more than 10,000 applications remain to be evaluated, and of those
evaluated, almost 40 per cent have been refused or withdrawn.

With Health Canada
considering compliance action in the near future, without significant changes,
many of the natural health products currently being sold will no longer be
available, and new NHPs will be significantly reduced. The industry's revenues,
and viability in Canada
are at risk and with them, thousands of jobs across the country.

In addition, Canada's
Organic Products Regulations came into force on June 30, 2009. However, the
transition period, particularly for imports from the US, of organic-certified produce
containing sodium nitrate, is not what the industry had understood it would be.
The industry believes that organic produce shelves will be bare this winter as
a result.

"We will continue to work with Health Canada to solve these problems on a
collaborative basis," stated Penelope Marrett, President and CEO of the
CHFA. "While many positive changes have occurred, our industry remains in
crisis. We have launched this campaign on Parliament Hill, to encourage our
members to continue the dialogue with their MP. We will be persistent when
working with Parliamentarians to ensure Canadians have access and choice to a
wide variety of Natural Health and Organic products."

The natural health products sector in Canada has been regulated since
2004; the new Organic Products Regulations have given Canadians more confidence
in the industry and its products, but significant challenges remain. The CHFA
represents 1,100 business owners and operators and is an industry that
contributes $3.5 billion to the Canadian economy.

"Safety for Canadian consumers has always been our primary concern,"
continued Marrett. "Our industry is totally committed to this principle.
In order for Canadians to continue to have access to safe, high quality NHPs,
we are committed to continue to working with the federal government to resolve
this impending disaster".



For more
information on the CHFA, visit http://www.chfa.ca or
www.saveournaturalhealthproducts.ca
    

National Health Food Month is held annually in November and focuses on the use
of natural and organic products as an integral part of health promotion.



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