A Must-Read Baffling Response from Health Canada’s Adam Gibson as NHPPA Wraps Up the Rebuttal Package to 308 MPs Riding Chart: Step 2

Adam Gibson Baffling Response


Since then NHPPA part time staff and volunteers have been preparing and mailing the Rebuttal Packages to remaining MPs. When we’re done we’ll be sending out an interesting post-campaign report that includes the final delivery numbers for Step 2, a particularly odd response from an MP and the campaign’s next steps.

In the mean time you don’t want to miss reading a recent letter from the Director General of the NNHPD*, Adam Gibson, in response to an active NHPPA member’s complaint about nattokinase being unavailable. It seems impossible to understand how Mr. Gibson’s letter includes the following statements about nattokinase when a report cites 281 deaths and 1700 adverse reactions linked to Pradaxa from the time it was approved by Health Canada:

“In order for a NHP to be approved for use in Canada, companies must provide Health Canada with evidence regarding its safety, quality and efficacy.”  

“Since blood thinners carry a risk of internal bleeding, the Department requires data supporting their safe use. In Canada, companies wishing to sell products containing nattokinase did not include sufficient evidence to support this ingredient in their original applications. Therefore, the Department contacted these companies and gave them another opportunity to demonstrate that the benefits of nattokinase outweigh the risks, and that the product(s) can be used safely.” 

We feel that the contents of this letter, alone, warrants a response. Let us know if you’d like NHPPA to prepare a direct reply for a national citizen’s send to Mr. Gibson.

Read page 1 of 2 of Adam Gibson’s Letter
Read page 2 of 2 of Adam Gibson’s Letter

* NHPD has changed its name to NNHPD Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate


Final Day for Step 2: The Charter to 308 MPs Campaign: MP Rebuttal Package Jul 18/14

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Today marks the last official day of delivering or sending out the NHPPA package in Step 2: The Charter to 308 MPs Campaign: MP Rebuttal Package 

If you continue to be distressed by the way the NHP Regulations have affected our access to Natural Health Products, we need you to take action. We have been getting emails from you and informally tracking the campaign’s progress until all of the packages are in. Many of us are sending out our packages today. We do need to close the campaign at some point to allow us to begin work on the next project. To make progress in our efforts we have to create a self-imposed deadline.

Tonight at midnight, is the extension from the original deadline three weeks earlier. However, our very last shift on an end date, would be the time over the next two days. If this weekend affords you the time to read, consider, print off and prepare your package for your MP, let us know! We will still count you in but need to call it a wrap on Monday for sure.

To those of you who have sent your package along with proof of deliverythank you! You are the only ones we are aware of who we can add to the final delivery count. Even an email with your name, your MP’s name and your riding to info@nhppa.org is perfect.

As Shawn’s analysis pointed out, most MPs are misinformed about Health Canada’s regulations and not aware of the purpose of the Charter of Health Freedom. The MP’s Rebuttal Package for downloading can be found here, under “Step 3) Assemble your MP Rebuttal Package”.

Print as much of this package as you can, ideally all of it, and hand-deliver or mail it to your MP’s Constituency Office as soon as you can.If you can’t hand-deliver or mail, please use the attached .pdfs (found in Step 3 of the campaign) and forward to your MP along with a personal message in the body of the email to introduce the attachments. If you need help with a message please see the MP Outer Mailer for ideas or tips for composing your own letter.

Please remember that communication to an MP has the most gravity through either a personal visit or a personally written letter with support material (as found in the .pdfs of this email).

Your MP will have new knowledge, the facts that Health Canada will never reveal, and your opinion that matters. Access to an alternate, and expert view, from Health Canada’s talking points is vital for our elected representatives.

“If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.” ? Rita Mae Brown




Two Days Left in Step 2: The Charter to 308 MPs Campaign: MP Rebuttal Package Jul 16/14

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We emailed you a reminder last week and have received a number of responses. Clearly some of you are overwhelmed with work and personal challenges in your life, but we are grateful that you took the time to write to us and let us know you that are firm believers in NHPPA’s campaigns. What is most inspiring for us is that delivery notices have started to come in from those who took action. Thank you—we have momentum! We are excited to see more of you meet the challenge by this Friday, the campaign’s deadline.


If your MP Rebuttal package isn’t on the way yet, maybe your freedom fighting cape needs a little dusting off. These are the last two days (or perhaps this evening?) to get it back on. If you haven’t printed the package yet, please consider doing it soon so that it is sitting on your desk or kitchen table as a reminder that you are needed. We take notice of every person who participates in this effort. Everything you need to take action with in Step 2: The Charter to 308 MPs Campaign: MP Rebuttal Package is outlined on NHPPA’s website under active campaigns.

And send us proof of delivery! Even if it’s an email.

To personalize this campaign so that we can see our community working together, please consider taking a picture of yourself mailing the packages. NHPPA is pleased to see that a number of you have done this over the last week. You can’t know how much your political engagement serves as inspiration for us to carry on. Sending us proof means that we’ll know which MPs and ridings have received a package.


In the last campaign NHPPA staff filled in the gaps for those MPs who did not receive a package from one of their constituents. However, on the continuum of where the power sits with an MP in having the conversation and pressing the issues—it’s with you. The MP Rebuttal packages will not be as effective coming from NHPPA compared to the personalized package from an NHPPA subscriber in any given riding.

Your MP represents your electoral riding and as your elected official they must be sensitive to your views and take them seriously. Your MP is interested in having reliable sources on which to base his/her decisions, even if exchanges to have them understand your position takes time. If you want your views represented in the House of Commons, you must make sure your MP knows where you stand. They have an interest in listening to those who are willing to take the time to express their views, especially on an issue as important as your health. Personal communications from constituents have the most clout. This is why we are asking you to deliver the packages as a first option; mail as a second and email as the last. NHPPA will accept any one of those! If you are delivering in most instances, you will deal directly with the MP’s staff. The MP often relies heavily on them for their knowledge and expertise. Make an impact!

“There isn’t much Justice in this world. Perhaps that’s why it’s so satisfying — to occasionally make some.” ~ Martian Manhunter Justice League Taskforce



Step 2: The Charter to 308 MPs Rebuttal Campaign Extended Jul 10/14

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The NHPPA is made up of a few committed activists who find it exciting to support our members with information and materials that help make a difference. In the past, with our collective efforts, we have caught the attention of the NHP industry, media, Members of Parliament, Health Canada and the Senate.

This could not have been done without you.

When we launch a campaign after months of stitching together all the pieces necessary to give you the right tools, our pay-off is seeing that you engage in the campaign. The hard copy version of the MP Rebuttal Package campaign was launched on April 4, 2014 at the Total Health Show in Toronto. The on-line version with materials that could be accessed from across the country went live June 6, 2014 with a campaign deadline of June 30, 2014.

To date the activity reported for this campaign has given us pause to wonder where you are. We understand everyone is overwhelmed with no lack of activity in your personal and professional lives. However…


NHPPA represents a collective group of people in Canada—this means you—who understand and are concerned that Health Canada Regulations have had a devastating effect on the number of Natural Health Products available to us, and that the NHP Regulations continue to violateour constitutional rights for freedom of choice in natural health solutions. NHPPA relies on you, our supporters and fellow natural health advocates, to be the voices that speak to our concerns. Without you, our MPs will never understand what’s really at stake with the current regulations and how important the Charter of Health Freedom is for all Canadians. Without you there is no campaign, there will never be a chance for change at Health Canada, and your MPs will continue to be misinformed about the purpose and consequences of the NHP Regulations. Without you, the Charter of Health Freedom will not get introduced to the House of Commons and will never have a chance of becoming law. You are, without a doubt, the most important part of these campaigns.

READ MORE on the campaign’s deadline extension


Health Canada To Release Side-Effect Data After Star Probe Jul 3/14



It questions the judgment of Health Canada and its policies when learning how unaffected they are about the data collected for side-effects and deaths caused by off-label prescription drugs (drugs used for a condition or type of person for which they are not approved). In this new investigative report by Toronto Star’s Jesse McLean and David Bruser, and data analyst Andrew Bailey, read frightening statistics like, “…nearly 400 Canadian cases from 2010 to 2013 that involved a wide and disturbing range of reported side-effects: deaths, heart attacks, strokes, birth defects, organ failures and “spontaneous” abortions.” The fact that these drugs are still on the market is an absurd contrast to how Health Canada handles regulation and enforcement of the exemplary safe and effective status of Natural Health Products.

Read the full article published today: tinyurl.com/qela8cn




New Article in Health Action Magazine: Petition Power Then and Now: The Charter of Health Freedom, the internet and the Canadian government Jun 10/14

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Many ask why the Charter of Health Freedom petition is not online. The simple answer is because our government wouldn’t recognize it, which begs the question: “Why not?”.

Check out NHPPA’s article by Carolyn Steele “Petition Power Then and Now: The
Charter of Health Freedom, the internet and the Canadian government”
, in latest issue of Health Action magazine to understand what’s involved in having a petition taken seriously by governments. The article includes a brief look at how petitions got started in Britain and North America, dating back to the 13th century. Carolyn points out that “The first Amendment of the U.S. Constitution includes, “the right of the people… to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”, which gives people a structured way to have their voices heard. However, today’s governments have put high standards on what petitions will get reviewed due to their popularity.

She writes: “Meanwhile, new words like slacktivism and clicktivism describe the momentary supporting of a cause when it appears on a screen without true engagement with making change.” This article explains why the petition for the Charter of Health Freedom is paper-based and how significant over 93,000 signatures to date really is and why our MPs should take notice. Carolyn highlights an important distinction, “When you sign an “old-fashioned” petition, your MP knows that your level of engagement is worth more than a click of the mouse.”

Read more on the milestones being reached by the Charter of Health Freedom petition in the Spring 2014 update


Step 2: The Charter to 308 MPs Campaign: MP Rebuttal Package Jun 6/14

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Step 2 of “The Charter to 308 MPs Campaign: MP Rebuttal” is well underway!

The MP Rebuttal Package campaign was launched on April 4, 2014 at the Total Health Show in Toronto. All of the materials are now on-line and ready for you to join your fellow activists.

We are sure you (and your MP) will find Shawn’s analysis very interesting reading!


In the next 25 days we are asking you to hand deliver, mail and/or email the MP Rebuttal Package, into the hands of every single MP: not once, but twice.

Once to your MP’s House of Commons address in Ottawa, and once to their Constituency Office in your riding. But to make this a well-timed two-send event prepare and send everything NHPPA has prepared for you now, before Parliament rests on June 20, to their Ottawa address. Then, prepare and send a second package to go to your MP’s office in your riding before June 30, 2014. You, as a constituent in your riding, have the strongest political voice for change.

Find all details on the main MP Rebuttal Package campaign page.

In order to make an impact we need every MP to hear about the Charter of Health Freedom, again, from multiple sources, at the same time. But this time with information that directly reflects the comments they made in their letters to you about the Charter of Health Freedom and the current Regulations. It is important that you all act together again to make a powerful statement. Your MP is being mislead by Health Canada as to the real, harmful effects of the 2004 NHP Regulations and will only get the other side of the story from you.

NHPPA has compiled a full information package for you to deepen (and frequently correct) the conversation with MPs.

This new MP Rebuttal Package includes everything you need to draft your response.


CLICK HERE to read the full campaign and MP Rebuttal Package details.


Heel Group Exiting US and Canadian Markets Jun 4/14

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According to a press release from Heel Canada, the company will cease operations in North America as of August 31, 2014.

Faced with mounting pressures, the departure is a business decision. Heel is the kind of natural health manufacturer that had the resources to navigate Health Canada’s licensing regulations. The Licensed Natural Health Products Database shows 180 licenses for the company but we may be seeing the tip of a disturbing trend.

Natural health product manufacturers in North America are being targeted by class action lawsuits claiming deceptive and false marketing. In this case, the lawsuit concerns Heel’s popular Traumeel line of products. The filed complaint cites that Traumeel did not relieve pain, contains ingredients that are contrary to its “natural” claim while arguing that the “Clinically Proven” and “Doctor Recommended” are invalid and imprecise. Heel admits no wrongdoing and continues to back its marketing but likely settled because it’s less expensive than defending this sort of claim.

These actions will further reduce access to your favourite natural health products. Many of which Canadian consumers and natural health practitioners relied on for supporting health and well-being. We’re sorry to see Heel go.

Read Heel’s press release: http://tiny.cc/mqqxgx

Read the complaint filed against Heel: http://tiny.cc/rwrzgx

Learn more at Integrated Health Retailer’s (IHR) magazine: http://tiny.cc/o4rzgx


“Who Controls Our Health?” A Documentary Film By Brent Spiess May 15/14

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Go to directly to trailer

This new, independent, 50-minute Canadian documentary is a comprehensive introduction to the problems with regulation of the natural health industry in Canada. Brent Speiss interviews many experts regarding the past, present and future, to try and get to the heart of the issues. Beginning with the details of Truehope’s battle to keep EmPower Plus on the market, you will hear from Tony Stephan and David Hardy, Truehope’s co-founders, Ian Stewart, their Director of Regulatory Affairs and Dr. Bonnie Kaplan, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Calgary.

Moving through the genesis of the 2004 NHP Regulations and the system of patentable products which gives the pharmaceutical companies their financial power, you will hear from Shawn Buckley, NHPPA’s President, and Edmonton health food store owner, practitioner and long-time activist, John Biggs.

Other experts, academics and practitioners will guide you through the national consultation process which should have given NHPs their own legal category and the philosophical objections many have to government restrictions on freedom of choice.

“You wouldn’t think that there would be a conflict between government and those agencies set up to ensure that Canadians have a healthy lifestyle.” ~ Ian Stewart

“What do people think we’re made up of, if not the things we ingest?” ~ Dr. Bonnie Kaplan

“Health Canada is putting the bottom line of the industry ahead of its real clients, you and me.” ~ Tony Stephan

If you are looking for an accessible introduction to the types of problems the current Health Canada regulations are causing for Canadians then we recommend you watch “Who Controls Our Health?”. Seeing this film will fuel your passion and anger for the issues, inspire you to take action for yourself and your families, and arm you with facts and examples for discussion at local events.

“Who Controls Our Health?” (trailer on YouTube) is available on DVD at a cost of $25.00 plus $5.95 for shipping and handling. To order your copy contact Brent directly at btspiess@telus.net or by phone at 403.234.9493

Thank you Brent, for the effort you put into this project on behalf of NHP stakeholders across Canada!


Shawn Buckley’s 2014 Keynote Lecture Now Available Online Apr 30/14

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A lot has changed since Shawn’s last presentation at Total Health 2013. Not only is Health Canada in the throes of full enforcement of the NHP Regulations; recent months have seen the introduction of Bill C-17 (“Vanessa’s Law”) as well as media reports, carrying few actual details, about CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement).

Shawn asks several questions in his new talk. Beginning with: “Were we [NHPPA] wrong to predict that the Regulations would lead to product losses?” 

He observes,

“People are complacent because when you walk into a health food store…the shelves are full. But if you are a person that relies on a product that is missing…if you are a person that relies on a product that’s been dumbed down, you’re in trouble.” (minute 20:30 on video)

He points out that the number of bottles still on the shelves is irrelevant if a lost product or sub-therapeutic dosage means you are required to shift to a more harmful pharmaceutical drug. He asks,

“When you’re regulating in the area of public health, shouldn’t you ask the question ‘are we [Health Canada] going to cause deaths?’” (minute 14:45 on video)

Regarding the secrecy surrounding CETA, Shawn states that, “Government secrecy is not consistent with a liberal democracy,” and adds that the European Union regulations regarding NHPs are even more draconian than our own.

Finally, Shawn discusses Vanessa’s Law in some detail, observing that the tragic death of a young girl, taking a pharmaceutical drug as prescribed, is absolutely deplorable, but that,

“Vanessa’s story is being used to promote this bill…apparently to make us safer…whenever the government chooses to use a personal story, it is meant to garner our support through emotion.” (minute 28:30 on video)

He explains the ways in which the government already has the power to recall or seize dangerous medications. The only difference Bill C-17 will make is that no court will be able to scrutinize the evidence. Shawn asks,

“If the minister already has the power to protect us from dangerous products, why is it that we have to give bureaucrats the authority secretly to take control over property?” (minute 33:30 on video)

Watch the full hour-long video: