What is the Charter of Health Freedom?
The Charter of Health Freedom is a piece of proposed legislation that protects your constitutional rights by giving natural health products (NHPs) and traditional medicines their own Act. It has been drawn up using the knowledge and expertise of a wide-ranging consortium of natural and traditional health stakeholders.
The Charter would protect access to NHPs and traditional medicines by creating a separate legal category for them that is neither foods nor drugs.
Instead of being treated as though they dangerous drugs under the Food and Drugs Act, the Charter would deem NHPs and traditional medicines to be safe unless there is evidence of harm. This is the reasonable and effective assumption underpinning natural product regulation in the United States.
In short, the Charter is A Law For Natural Health Products.
The Charter of Health Freedom enables the definition and regulation of NHPs as a true third category with foods and drugs, a move that Canadians have specifically demanded of their government. It offers an appropriate, healthy, beneficial, safe and well-rooted change for regulating the nation’s natural health products industry; permanently.
The principles of the Charter of Health Freedom are universal in nature, but the language is specific to the Canadian legal/constitutional system. The Charter reaffirms in law the long-standing relationship citizens of our great nation have enjoyed with government as a servant, rather than master in our affairs.
Why is the Charter necessary?
We need a balanced and reasonable law for the natural health community.
We need a legal foundation designed to protect natural products, their manufacturers and retailers and the citizens who choose to use them. We also need a legal framework for effective regulation of the industry.
The courts tell us we have the freedom to choose how to treat ourselves and our families, but we can’t experience our freedom of choice if there is restricted access to safe, effective and high quality NHPs. The Charter of Health Freedom gives the government the powers needed to address safety concerns while at the same time charging them to respect our rights and freedoms.
The Canadian people demanded an equal category for NHPs, treating them as neither foods nor drugs, and the government agreed. However, NHPs are currently regulated as a subset of drugs within the Food and Drugs Act. This legal framework has led, inevitably, to the decline in products we are seeing on store shelves, through expensive, inappropriate sometimes impossible regulatory demands.
The Charter of Health Freedom is a proposed legislation that gives NHPs their own Act. It is not a tweak, a change or a softening of current regulations, it offers natural and traditional products permanent legal protection.
How will the Charter protect you?
This is an exciting time in the field of natural medicine. The Charter of Health Freedom has the potential to set Canada apart as one of the most progressive countries in the world. The Charter envisions a health care system that is fully sustainable, culturally diverse and able to encompass natural, traditional and conventional medicine.
The Charter of Health Freedom is supported by a broad cross-section of Canadians, including consumers/citizens, NHP manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, natural health practitioners from many disciplines and cultures, and NGOs.
The Charter seeks to ensure that the rights guaranteed to Canadians in our Constitution and our common law heritage aren’t extinguished by actions, well-intentioned or otherwise, of any governments, domestic or foreign.
Public pressure will bring this change about, as citizens who care about their health and their rights and freedoms educate themselves, their networks and their politicians. With publicity, media interest, a cross-country petition campaign and ever-increasing social media activity, the people are speaking.
The Charter of Health Freedom is a reminder to exercise the rights and freedoms we enjoy as Canadians.
Learn more about the Charter
The Charter is drafted as complete legislation to be enacted word-for-word, letter-for-letter. We understand that not all of us are lawyers, politicians or technically-minded, so we have added short video clips to explain each section of the legislation. Watch Shawn Buckley explain each section of the Charter of Health Freedom in our interactive video.
3 PART PLAN
The Charter of Health Freedom is part of the NHPPA’s 3 Part Plan, “Part 3: HAVE THE CHARTER OF HEALTH FREEDOM ENACTED TO GUARANTEE A REASONABLE LEGAL ENVIRONMENT FOR NATURAL HEALTH PRODUCTS.” Learn more about the rationale for the Charter.
Take Action: Collect Petition Signatures!
In order to force Parliament to understand the strength of feeling among Canadians for change, a petition in support of the Charter of Health Freedom is being circulated across the country. Download the petition and all the information you need to set up a petition station of your own.
HERE ARE SOME OTHER WAYS TO GET INVOLVED:
- Donate to protect your health freedoms
- Visit your local MP to discuss the Charter
- Write a letter to your local MP about the Charter