Draft Discussion Paper on the Amendments to Bill C-51

Bill C-51 was debated during second reading in the week ending June 13, 2008. During second reading the Government introduced amendments to the Bill.

Bill C-51has become a significant issue for persons in the Natural Health Community. Because of this, it is important for the amendments to be analyzed so that Canadians can understand the impact of Bill C-51 as it is now amended.

Discussion Paper Only

This is a discussion paper only and does not reflect the position of the NHPPA or of the NHPPA advisory board. The thoughts and comments are those of the author, Mr. Shawn Buckley and are intended to foster discussion.

The NHPPA will formulate its position after feedback from the Natural Health Community.

The Government is Claiming Victory for the Natural Health Community

One of the key demands of the Natural Health Community is for the Government to stop regulating Natural Health Products as drugs. According to the media, the Government is now claiming that with the amendments to Bill C-51 they have listened, and have now given Natural Health Products their own distinct category.

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Letter to Ottawa about Bill C-51

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Dear____________________________,

Regarding Bill C51 and Health Canada’s (HC) regulation of Natural Health Products (NHPs), please take the time to consider the following before addressing my questions below.

The statement that Natural Health Products are not regulated as drugs, which many MPs and Ministers are making, is false. Under the Food and Drugs Act, there are currently only two choices: Foods or Drugs. In 1997, HC proposed the Establishment Licensing Act to stop regulating NHPs as foods, and move them all into the drug category. In one of the largest protests of all time, Canadians made it resoundingly clear they did not want this. The issue went to the Standing Committee on Health, and it was firmly established that the approval model used for pharmaceuticals could not be fairly applied to NHPs. Accordingly, the Committee?s first of 53 accepted recommendations to Parliament was that the Food and Drugs Act be amended to provide NHPs with a distinct third category, separate from either  foods or drugs.  HC then held country wide consultations on the issue, and publicly announced that by far the number one desire of Canadians was to have increased access to a wider range of NHPs. Yet, against the public?s wishes, and Parliament?s directive, HC classified NHP?s as drugs anyway.

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Bill C-51 Must be Stopped NOT Amended

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The NHPPA has fielded many inquiries concerning whether Bill C-51 should be stopped or amended. Because of the tremendous threat posed by Bill C-51 the NHPPA is taking the position that:

  • Bill C-51 must be stopped, not amended, and
  • The Amend Bill C-51 campaign threatens to undermine the Stop Bill C-51 efforts and permit Bill C-51 to pass with only superficial amendments.

Bill C-51 is too Dangerous to Take Chances With

Bill C-51 is the most significant threat to the Natural Health Community in generations. Some of the problems with Bill C-51 include:

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