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NHPs – A Call for Appropriate Legislation


November 27, 2008
By Maria DiDanieli

Nov. 27, Ottawa – Today,
the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) and a group of its member business
owners and operators representing the $3.5 billion Canadian natural health
products (NHP) and organics industry were on Parliament Hill to discuss the
importance of fair and effective food and drug legislation with Members of
Parliament.

The
meetings with MPs from all parties follow the Government’s announcement during
the Speech from the Throne last week that legislation amending the Food and
Drugs Act would be re-introduced in the current parliamentary session.

“Our
industry is totally committed to the safety of Canadians,” said CHFA President
& CEO Penelope Marrett, “because unsafe products not only hurt consumers,
but they also hurt the perception of the industry as a whole.”

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However,
Marrett said that this new legislation must reflect the safer nature of NHPs,
as compared to drugs, and that proper industry consultation must take place
before any new legislation is tabled.

Last
spring, CHFA met with then Minister of Health Tony Clement and was encouraged
by the Government’s willingness to listen. It commended the subsequent
introduction of amendments to former Bill C-51, An Act to amend the Food and
Drugs Act, as a step in the right direction, which would have placed NHPs in a
separate category, and no longer as a sub-set of drugs.

“75 per
cent of Canadians have used NHPs and want uninterrupted access and choice when
purchasing these products.” said Marrett.

“Despite
the positive steps that have taken place, there is still much work to be done.
With new Organic Regulations coming into force in 2009 and the continued
implementation of the NHP Regulations, we strongly believe that the Government
must ensure that the principles of Smart Regulations must be considered – that
is, they must be appropriate, achievable and cost-effective for small, medium
and large enterprises.  We believe it is the Government’s responsibility
to ensure that NHPs and organics will continue, now and into the future, to be
available to Canadians seeking to achieve optimal health and well-being.”

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.

For
more information on CHFA, visit www.chfa.ca.


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