Canada’s New Minister of Health CBC News, Aug 29/17

Meet Canada’s new Minister of Health. This CBC article, “A lot I can bring to the table”: 2nd New Brunswick MP joins Trudeau Cabinet” (4 minute read), dated August 28, 2017 reports on the swearing in of Ginette Petitpas Taylor as Minister of Health. She replaces Jane Philpott who is now the Minister of Indigenous Services.

NHPPA just learned of this cabinet shuffle this morning. One of our long time supporters met with Jane Philpott earlier today. The Government of Canada’s cabinet portfolio is always changing. It’s a reminder that being an activist requires repeated effort, over time. We must consistently educate our leaders that Natural Health Products and Practices want a place at the societal table of inclusion and choice.

Find out more about Ginette Petitpas Taylor in her official bio.


“Supplements Killing Children?” Alliance for Natural Health USA Aug 22/17

Media Fear Mongering. This July 26, 2017 article from Alliance for Natural Health (USA), “Supplements Killing Children?” (3 minute read) sheds light on the repeated publications by mainstream media to promote a sense of fear and danger about the safety of NHPs.

”Children are far more likely to die from swallowing batteries than vitamins” the article states. It goes on to point out “While FDA-approved drugs kill hundreds of thousands of patients a year – even when properly prescribed – the mainstream media doesn’t bat an eye”.


“Why Canadian Scientists Aren’t Happy” Maclean’s Aug 22/17

This June 29, 2017 Maclean’s article, “Why Canadian Scientists Aren’t Happy”, by Paul Wells (9-minute read), explains the challenge to allocate research funding between priority-driven targeted research projects that attract big name researchers and put Canada on the world’s research destination map and the smaller independent investigator-led research that supports innovation and more practical knowledge. Kirsty Duncan, Canada’s Minister of Science, is being criticized for not acting swiftly on the Naylor Report recommendations that would support a broader range of research and more scientists.

Wells wrote at the time the Naylor Report was released, “Trudeau has imitated Harper in favouring high-profile, highly targeted research projects, on areas of study selected by political staffers in Ottawa, that are designed to attract star researchers from outside Canada so they can bolster the image of Canada as a research destination…That’d be great if it wasn’t achieved by pruning budgets for the less spectacular research that most scientists do.”

The article’s byline is “The Liberal government’s latest science policy is a backwards factory for producing white elephants”. A suitable use of vocabulary considering the definition: A possession that is useless or troublesome, especially one that is expensive to maintain or difficult to dispose of.


“Natural Health Products: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You” Pincher Creek Echo, AB Aug 18/17

In this July 4, 2017 article (2 minute read) “Natural Health Products: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You”, published in the Pincher Creek Echo, Dr. Lena Derie-Gillespie writes, “The Oxford definition of a “drug” is a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when introduced into the body. Therefore, natural health products are and always will be drugs.” If it was that cut and dry, food, alcohol, coffee, and even water, would be classified as a drug. Derie-Gillespie further writes that natural health products (NHPs) are potentially dangerous because “NHPs are not subjected to nearly the same scrutiny” as drugs in their approval processes with Health Canada.

In 2010 NHPPA began an Access to Information Request to have Health Canada respond to a number of questions including;

“8. If there are documents showing death(s) caused by natural health products as requested in item 7, all documents showing for each death, if any;

9. Copies of all adverse reaction reports for natural health products, from Confederation in 1867, until the date this requests is processed;”

Health Canada reported back to Shawn Buckley that “there were no records”.

It makes little sense for low risk natural substances (aside from “dog poop” as Derie-Gillespie’s degenerates, to draw a comparison to NHPs) to require the same level of scrutiny as drugs, many of which are beyond potentially dangerous and well-known as toxic. Pharmaceuticals cause severe adverse reactions and deaths every year. All of the science in this highly regulated and monitored industry does not change that risks are high, consistent and expected. Derie-Gillespie seems to be waving the danger flag about the wrong industry. What is acceptable risk? Should doctors, drug companies and those approving pharmaceuticals at Health Canada be accountable for the deaths?

Derie-Gillespie is right. 73% of Canadians use NHPs. And it’s a good thing they do.

Related articles:

Death by Prescription

Canada not tracking prescription drug death statistics

Canada’s Opioid epidemic


“Metis Man Uses Traditional Medicines to Treat Terminal Cancer” CBC News Aug 4/17

This is encouraging news for those of us who believe that an integrated healthcare system would benefit most people, and certainly respect your right to choose. In this July 20, 2017 CBC News article (3 minute read time) by Stephanie Taylor, “Sask. Metis man uses traditional medicines to treat terminal cancer“, she wrote about a case in Saskatchewan that demonstrates how conventional and traditional medicine can co-exist for the benefit of the patient, respecting Aboriginal and human rights.

Taylor states, “A Métis man who opted to use Indigenous therapies for his terminal cancer instead of chemotherapy was initially turned down for follow-up care by a specialist, but the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency is now encouraging specialists to accept patients using traditional practices.” It took a few attempts and an escalation of Ric Richardson’s case to the head of the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, but in the end this Métis man’s choices were honoured and supported.

Is this what we should all expect from our healthcare system? Will your personal right to choose start being honoured and supported in other healthcare situations, as a manner of policy? This is one of the key reasons why the Charter of Health Freedom was written over eight years ago and we have been collecting signatures on the petition to have it become law ever since.

Start a petition page for the Charter of Health Freedom today

Find out more about the Charter of Health Freedom


“Canada’s Pharma Companies Disclose Payments to Doctors for the First Time” CBC News Aug 1/17

Big Pharma and its inadequate financial disclosure. Back on June 20, 2017 CBC ran this piece (4 minute read), “Canada’s pharma companies disclose payments to doctors for the first time”. We are just able to draw attention to it now, for those of you who hadn’t seen it. “The backbone of any physician-patient relationship is trust. Where there could be perceived conflicts, where this is not public, where this is confidential or clandestine for whatever reason, [it] can really start to erode that.” CBC’s article is linked below. The Globe and Mail had a similar report, “Canadian drug makers assailed for lack of transparency over payments“.