Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Regulating natural health products

Unsubstantiated health claims, misrepresentation of content, and shady manufacturing and importation practices, do not enhance the health of Canadians and can pose a health risk, says naturopathic doctor Lorne Swetlikoff. Regulating natural products to make sure they're safe makes sense. But, he says, a closer look at Bill C-51 raises concerns like reduced public access to certain natural medicines that naturopathic doctors recommend and that Canadians depend on.

Do you see the proposed legislation as a threat to your access to natural health products — or a welcome effort to make sure Canadians have access to safe products?

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments

Horacio Bellaclava Wingtip

Toronto

It's whole milk all over again. I got me a few biology degrees, one in related biotech field. Traditional pharma clinical trial results aren't released to the public. The past 10 years have shown some of the true effectiveness and risk associated, can be questionable. Only through market placement can we get true numbers out in the open, which will eventually arise anyway. If a proper model was put into place for measurable feedback from "patients", we can monitor naturopathic treatments.

On a personal note, I had no less than 7 surgeons, doctors, sports therapists, specialists look at my legs during a rare episode that almost rendered me unable to walk a fair distance. The open mindedness of a naturopath solved it. That alone is evidence that there is potential with regards to serving people. Let's not kill this potential, based upon the lack of proper administration and managerial insight by red-tape bureaucrats. Again, another time when I'm ashamed of Canada's amateur performance.

Posted June 5, 2008 02:01 PM

angelina

TO

I do see this bill as a threat to natural products

Posted June 5, 2008 06:40 PM

Michael

Toronto

This bill isn't a threat to natural products, it's something that could save people's lives! With all the nonsense being spouted by NPs as to how their methods are better and safer, it's no wonder that people have never paid too close attention to see if they actually work in a double-blind study!

Posted June 5, 2008 07:14 PM

Jaimie Driedger

Calgary

Bill C-51 scares me. I have to say I feel like the regular health system has been unreliable and I am happy to currently be able to choose another option if I feel I need to. I am luckier than most Calgarians because I have a good family doctor, but my visits to her have been brief and usually unhelpful. She is overworked and prone to prescribing drugs rather than looking for the underlying cause of an issue. I have sympathy for her but I can't rely on her for small "lifestyle" health issues. I also feel like I am wasting her valuable time as many people seem to be in more desparate need of her than I am.
I currently see an acupucturist and herbalist. Both of these practitioners have been nothing but professionals, and while I do trust them, I always make sure to research all of the remedies they prescribe. I would do the same with conventional drugs. I like to have a feeling choosing what is best for me, and I don't like the fact that the choice may be narrowed or even eliminated for me by the government in the future.

Posted June 5, 2008 07:20 PM

Terri

Kimberley

Bill C-51 seems innocuous at first glance,but, when we read further it is the parts that call for "no warrant needed for search and seizure",ability of Gov. to seize your huse and dispose of it at their discretion. Yes, we do need to have a regulation in place that will protect the consumer,but,let's ensure we do not have athe same legal problems that (some) big pharma plagues us with due to their dubious testing methods. And we must remember for the most part WE KNOW WHAT'S IN NATURAL MEDICINES, WE DON'T KNOW WHAT CHEMICALS ARE IN BIG PHARMA.

Posted June 5, 2008 08:54 PM

Darlene

Victoria

Bill C-51 is just downright wrong!!
Are herbal alternatives finally starting to make the pharmacuitical companies afraid that they'll lose money?
Doctors would have had my daughter in the grave by now, if we hadn't taken her to a naturalpath. Lab looks at a stool sample and says no parisites. Her blood was full of them. Dr. says she's not aneimic; her red blood cells were popping like pop fiz in a glass. Here's another thing we fought regularly. She's just depresed, give her anti-depressants. You would be too if you were so sick for so long, but that is not the root. What the government needs to do is help make natural remedies more afordable and bring in more, so that us deprived Canadians have to cross the border to purchase...LIKE NATURAL PROGESTERON CREAM. No one needs synthetic estrogen (nor does the environment). We need natural progesterone to make our bodies use the estrogen it has.
That's too big a seller for the druggist. No, Bill C-51 sounds too smoke screened. I think we'll bew very sorry before long if it gets through. Oh well. here, have an anti-depressant. Oh and here's something for the side effects...and here's something for the side effects from that!

Posted June 5, 2008 09:50 PM

Fred Hiebert

I am dependent on natural remidys. If it was't for herbs, I would posibly be on a weelchare. But now I am not. My family Doctor does not help me and fell in great need for Naturessunshine's products. Bill C-51 should not be past.

Posted June 6, 2008 03:38 AM

Mimi Hachey

I studied both Pharmacology and Naturopathy and while it was just a "blink" I had into these sciences, I keep these basis in mind for the rest of my life.

Family doctors are generally good to follow-up on problems, but only a few are real good doctors that go the extra mile to search for a possible cause. The majority are over worked (like the rest of us)and find it a lot easier to prescribe a drug and have the patient out of their office within 15 minutes.

On the other hand, Naturopaths are not all good so people have to search on whatever is being suggested (either family doctor or naturopath) to be sure they receive the right remedy for their ailment.

Overall, moderation is a good motto.

Taking charge of ourselves is primordial, and fortunately...we finally have some choices, so we need to forget about C-51 and find another way to prevent UNhealthy products coming on Canadian shelves. There should be professionals perusing pharmaceutical and natural products to be sure that the product on our Canadian store shelves are appropriate.

"no warrant needed for search and seizure" is a good option as long as it is done by professionals with a good intention. What I am afraid of is some governmental people applying this option in a controlling fashion!

I want the choice, so I want both options to prevail!

Posted June 6, 2008 06:00 PM

Chris

Toronto

Our world is becoming more polluted and unnatural. Access to clean air (at least in urban centres) is poor. Access to unpreserved food products is expensive. With all the smog and perservatives the average Canadian is ingesting these days new maladies are bound to pop up and the medical profession isn't always going to be able to help.

Bill C-51 will drastically tie the hands of those looking for another health option as well as those willing to give it. The over regulation of natural rememdies seems like some organization just wants a slice of the pie. If it ain't broke, don't fix it folks.

I had a chronic condition of prostatitis that the medical community could not heal. After 3 years of failed attempts from medical doctors I tried a Naturopathic Doctor. Two weeks and I was fine. I've read other stories like this on this comment board. For every story we see here there are hundreds of ones not told.

Why does the government want to change this practice? What purpose does it serve them?

Posted June 7, 2008 05:08 PM

m

MB

Remember many naturapthic docotors make a very significant income from the natural remedies and supplements that they prescribe to thier patients and very often sell in thier self-owned, operated and regulated natural pharmacies operated out of thier clinics.They are in support of the bill. HMMMMMMMMM????

Posted June 10, 2008 06:43 PM

paul conyette

It's time to see more regulation with Bill C-51 in the supplement industry. The suppliers of these products have had a long run against the pharmaceutical manufacturers who had their products "hammered on the anvil " since the 1940's. Maybe we can expect better products and more reliable research with better outcome predictions for natural products.

Posted June 11, 2008 06:08 AM

Evan

Ontario

I support bill c-51.
I am sick of hearing people write that this bill destroys rights. Past comments on this page like "no warrant needed for search and seizure" was quoted supposable from the bill. It was in fact not!

What this bill ACTUALLY says is:
"If the place referred to in subsection 23(1) is a dwelling-house, an inspector may not enter it without the consent of the occupant except under the authority of a warrant issued under subsection"

These health inspectors are given no more power than a regular officer of the law... so my suggestion to people writing about this bill is to actually look at the bill before you comment on it.

Further, why would natural health product promoter be concerned about a bill that actually checks and regulates claims of the products? It will only restrict those products that falsely promoted un-scientific claims.

I hope that this bill passes and brings a new age of reason to Canadians choices in health products.

Posted June 26, 2008 08:26 PM

Dan

Toronto

Testing products to find out if they are safe is fine - but don't make all therapeutic herbs, used for thousands of years, illegal until they have been tested. I think thousands of years of use is a pretty good test to begin with. Pharmaceutical drugs are one of the leading causes of death largely because of their toxicity (look it up) and many of them are dangerous to stop taking once you start (money in pharma's pocket) while natural drugs do not have this dangerous control over the patient for the rest of their lives, and don't have the toxicity of pharmaceuticals. Naturopaths won't even be able to prescribe them so natural medicines will be UNAVAILABLE and we will be stuck with lifelong dependency on toxic drugs if we have any of the diseases that they are used for in place of safer natural medicine. I will very likely leave the country if this is the kind of fascist totalitarianism that lobbying has come to.

Posted July 2, 2008 03:04 AM

Lisa

Saskatchewan

I am afraid of a day when canadians become even more limited in accessing natural remedies. I have eczema and I haven't been able to find anything that works on my skin until I heard about using silver. I researched its historic use as much as I could and decided to try it. I found a bodywash that has silver in it, and it has worked wonders for me. If I am ever forced to stop using this product, I don't know what i'll do. I guess i'd go back to suffering from my eczema on a daily basis.

Just one example...

Posted October 21, 2008 07:15 PM

Janet NowellBaynes

I use natural products on a regular basis. Restricting access and prices skyrocketing would certainly cause distress for myself as I am unable to take Rx medication due to side effects and like I've always been told that taking them is a trade-off(although at times are necessary) It's about time that pharmaceutical co.'s should recognize that there are many wonderful natural products that do live up to the claims and to stop being so greedy and share the market!!

Posted November 13, 2008 08:55 PM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Health Blog »



Recent Posts

Ask an expert
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Regulating natural health products
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Gardening injuries
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Kids and 'frienemies"
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
The healing body
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Subscribe to Health Blog

Archives

June 2008 (2)
May 2008 (2)
April 2008 (4)
March 2008 (2)
February 2008 (4)
January 2008 (3)
October 2007 (1)

Categories

Ask an expert (1)
Diet and nutrition (3)
Fitness (2)
Medicine (3)
Naturopathic medicine (2)
Nursing homes (1)
Nutrition (1)
Psychology (2)
Youth (1)
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

10 sailors missing after U.S. warship collides with tanker near Singapore
At least 10 U.S. sailors are missing after the USS John S. McCain collided with a tanker early Monday east of Singapore, the second accident involving a ship from the Navy's 7th Fleet in two months.
Solar eclipse transforms tiny Oregon town into red hot tourist destination
On Monday, the Oregon town of Madras — a two-hour drive from Portland — is expected to swell to about 100,000 people, as visitors jostle their way in to get a glimpse of the first total solar eclipse to sweep across the continental U.S. in 99 years.
New U of Texas taking down Confederate 'symbols of modern white supremacy'
The University of Texas is removing statues of Robert E. Lee and other prominent Confederate figures from a main area of campus, saying such monuments have become "symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism."
more »

Canada »

International adoptions decline dramatically in Canada
The number of international adoptions has declined dramatically in Canada in the last five years due to tighter country controls, exorbitant costs and alternative routes to parenthood. Last year, there were only 793 international adoptions in Canada, according to data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC.)
Toronto man who disappeared 3 years ago surfaces on Interpol list of feared ISIS suicide bombers
A Toronto man is named on an Interpol list of individuals suspected to belong to an ISIS suicide brigade, according to a Canadian expert on radicalization and foreign fighters.
Far-right group claims victory after emerging from Quebec City parking garage
They were stuck in a Quebec City parking garage for four hours Sunday, but when they emerged, members of La Meute said they had succeeded in making their point.
more »

Politics »

Migrants with no status in the U.S. battle anxiety as they await Trump's next move
Many illegal migrants have been allowed to stay in the U.S. without official status, but indications from the Trump administration suggest that tolerance is disappearing.
Trudeau to asylum seekers: Crossing border illegally won't fast track immigration
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a message for asylum seekers: crossing illegally into the country doesn't offer an advantage when it comes to obtaining refugee status in Canada.
First round of NAFTA talks wrap in Washington
Canada, the United States and Mexico wrapped up their first round of talks Sunday to revamp the NAFTA trade pact, vowing to keep up a blistering pace of negotiations that some involved in the process said may be too fast to bridge deep differences.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

'A genius comedian': Hollywood says goodbye to Jerry Lewis
Comedians in Hollywood are paying tribute to one of their own and a trailblazer in slapstick, Jerry Lewis.
Comedy legend Jerry Lewis dead at 91 video
Jerry Lewis, the rubber-faced comedian and director whose fundraising telethons became as famous as his hit movies, has died. He was 91.
Broadway ticket-buying now easier for fans, not re-sellers
A new online verification system aims to keep more tickets in the hands of fans rather than re-sellers who seemingly snap them up and put them on the market for higher prices.
more »

Technology & Science »

Solar eclipse transforms tiny Oregon town into red hot tourist destination
On Monday, the Oregon town of Madras — a two-hour drive from Portland — is expected to swell to about 100,000 people, as visitors jostle their way in to get a glimpse of the first total solar eclipse to sweep across the continental U.S. in 99 years.
INTERACTIVE Check how much of the solar eclipse you'll see from your city
Use this interactive tool to see what the solar eclipse on Aug. 21 will look like for you.
Solar eclipse myth-busting: Facts and fiction behind nature's stunning event
Do you think it's safe to look at a solar eclipse through sunglasses? Have you heard that an unborn child can be harmed during one? We bust some myths behind nature's spectacular event.
more »

Money »

First round of NAFTA talks wrap in Washington
Canada, the United States and Mexico wrapped up their first round of talks Sunday to revamp the NAFTA trade pact, vowing to keep up a blistering pace of negotiations that some involved in the process said may be too fast to bridge deep differences.
Canadian re-commerce company LXRandCo taking luxury vintage shopping into the future video
Step aside, cheap chic and fast fashion: Luxury vintage resale is one of the fastest growing segments in retail. And a Canadian company is one of the world's leaders.
Eclipse eye safety and airline phone scams: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet
Miss something this week? Here's the consumer news you need to know.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Canadian Little Leaguers have a day to remember in Williamsport
All week, the Canadian players from White Rock, B.C., have described their experiences at the Little League World Series thus far as surreal, amazing and unbelievable. Sunday was all of those things — truly the ultimate baseball day.
Charles Hamelin qualifies for 4th Olympics at short track selections
Charles Hamelin qualified for his fourth Olympics on Sunday after finishing second overall at the Canadian short track team selections.
Live Watch Canadians compete at the Summer Universiade video
Watch live action from the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei City, Taiwan.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »