A response to Adam Gibson’s Letter to the Editor was submitted to Alive by Dr. Zoltan Rona. Dr. Rona has had a well-respected private medical practice in Toronto for 35 years, is the author or co-author of 12 books on natural medicine and sits on the Editorial Advisory Board of Alive Magazine.
February 15, 2013
This is a bold faced lie.
I have been in practice as a medical doctor specializing in Complementary and Alternative Medicine for nearly 35 years. In 2012, Health Canada stopped the sale of over 60 different supplements that I had been prescribing to my private patients for over 20 years. These natural health products included those manufactured by Thorne Research, Biotics Research, Douglas Laboratories and others.
Nattokinase, a natural blood thinner, from AOR was one of the products removed by Health Canada. In addition, the anti-inflammatory enzyme Serrapeptase (100,000 units) has not been granted an NPN number despite requests that have been placed by several companies repeatedly for over a year.
None of these products has been shown to cause any significant side effects or deaths yet they have been suppressed by Health Canada. My patients now have to resort to highly diluted and inferior products. Either that or they are forced to purchase the exact same supplements freely available in the United States over the Internet at grossly inflated prices.
This country loses millions of dollars each year to the USA for harmless health food store products like nattokinase, DHEA, pregnenolone, progesterone and other hormone creams prohibited for sale by Health Canada.
Shawn Buckley has the evidence and my direct experience as a practicing physician verifies to me that he is one hundred percent correct. Accusations made by Health Canada to the contrary are nothing more than noisy spin control aimed at deflecting the public from the truth.
Zoltan Rona, M.D., M.Sc.
Letter to the Editor regarding article “Safe or Unsafe? Canada’s risky Natural Health Products Regulations,” by Shawn Buckley (Alive Magazine – December 1, 2012)
December 12, 2012
Buckley’s Alive article does readers a disservice by using vague innuendo and hyperbole to create fear and mislead consumers about the true nature of Natural Health Product (NHP) regulation in Canada.
Health Canada’s approach to natural health products is specifically designed for NHPs – not pharmaceuticals – and the number of NHPs available continues to grow every year.
Our work is guided by the understanding that NHPs are lower-risk products and must be treated accordingly. Recently, Health Canada put forward new tools and streamlined pathways to reduce red tape for companies to bring NHPs to market, while maintaining consumer safety.
Sadly, myths suggesting otherwise continue in spite of our efforts to dispel them publically. On Health Canada’s website there is a page specifically devoted to Myths and Facts about NHPs. The fact is that today Health Canada has authorized for sale over 60,000 NHPs (compared with about 8,200 prescription medications).
Buckley is crying wolf – there simply is no crisis.
Natural Health Products Directorate
Link to Shawn Buckley’s Article in Alive Magazine:
December 2012 issue