This November 27, 2016 article by Dr. Bonnie Kaplan and Dr. Julia Rucklidge, “Have You Ever Wondered Why Labels on Supplements are So Vague?”, published by Mad In America shines light on the worldwide trend by governments and Big Pharma to intentionally suppress information making it harder for consumers to make educated decisions on how they wish to treat their health conditions.

Although this article focuses on the changes to regulations being implemented in New Zealand, the similarities to the proposed changes to regulations by Health Canada couldn’t be more evident. Around the world, governments and pharmaceutical companies are using a number of strategies including information suppression, fear mongering and even the removal of Natural Health Products (NHPs) as a way to deceive the public, create confusion and a perception that NHPs are unsafe and ineffective.

“It isn’t the manufacturers who are vague, it is the regulation of medicines that prevents clear labelling that reflects scientific evidence because only medicines can claim a therapeutic benefit and some conditions aren’t allowed to have health claims associated with them”, Dr. Kaplan and Dr. Rucklidge state. In Canada, the phrase “a source of antioxidants for the maintenance of good health” is often the only health claim that can be made on NHPs due to the current regulations and may very well be the only claim permitted under the proposed new regulations. “At what point did our society essentially hand over the rights to make a therapeutic claim to the drug companies and limit access to using products that impact positively on health? Here is an opportunity to set the record straight and acknowledge through legislation that there are verifiable health and therapeutic benefits from taking nutrients without having to regulate them like medicines. If the data substantiate it, then allow the claim to be made, not only in New Zealand, but across the world.”

Recommended related reading:

Shawn Buckley’s October 2016 Discussion Paper on how Natural Health Products may soon be regulated in Canada

Rick DeSylva’s article, “Health Canada and the Drug-ification of Natural Health Products