MANY OF US ARE AWARE THAT HEALTH CANADA’S POWERS HAVE BEEN GRADUALLY EXPANDING THROUGH LEGISLATIVE CHANGES.
For example, many of the broad powers that created concern years ago with Bill C-51 are now law in the Food and Drugs Act. The only saving grace is that they do not yet apply to natural health products because of the public backlash that readers like you created during the Bill C-51 fight. Eventually I predict the broad powers we were all concerned about will apply to natural products. A story or stories about harm caused by natural products will circulate in the media and calls for imposing the broad powers on natural products will be made. Armed with the public cry for protection, the government will dutifully comply and expand the powers to cover natural health products. At that point anyone involved in natural health could be completely and totally destroyed financially and jailed for long periods for not complying with Health Canada demands (regardless of how unfounded they may be and regardless of whether complying will cause harm or death to others).
Less noticed is the expansion of Health Canada’s powers by Court decisions. What occurs is, after decades of Health Canada interpreting the Food and Drugs Act one way, it changes its interpretation to expand its powers. Eventually someone challenges them in Court to say that the “new interpretation” is wrong. When this happens, the Court is faced with having to choose which Health Canada interpretation to accept, the original one often followed for many decades, or the new one. Unfortunately, in a couple of key decisions, the Court has sided with Health Canada’s new interpretations.