British Columbia

Naturopath banned from selling pills, enemas made from feces after complaint they were made in 'household lab'

A B.C. naturopath who claims he can treat autism with fecal transplants at a clinic in Mexico has been barred from producing pills or enemas made from human feces while he’s under investigation by multiple agencies.

Jason Klop claims fecal transplants can treat autism

B.C. naturopath Jason Klop claims he manufactures fecal microbiota transplants in compliance with federal law. (Novel Biome)

A B.C. naturopath who claims he can treat autism with fecal transplants at a clinic in Mexico has been barred from producing pills or enemas made from human feces while he's under investigation by multiple agencies.

The College of Naturopathic Physicians of B.C. says it has taken "extraordinary action" against Jason Klop in response to a complaint from a whistle-blowing former employee, who alleges that he manufactured these products in a "household lab" in B.C. without standard procedures or quality control.

An Aug. 19 decision from the college's inquiry committee says that while the complaint is under investigation, Klop cannot manufacture, advertise or sell fecal microbiota transplants (FMT). He'll also be subject to random on-site audits to make sure he's not violating his conditions.

The college has posted a public notice stating it's taken this action "due to the seriousness of the alleged conduct and a real risk of harm to the public."

This is the first public sign of concrete action by the college since CBC News first reported on Klop's business in January 2020 — nearly 20 months ago — apart from stating that Klop's claims would mean "he is operating outside the scope of practice for naturopathic doctors in B.C."

Previous CBC stories have revealed how Klop was charging about $15,000 US for autistic children as young as two years old to have FMT treatment at a clinic near Tijuana. The process isn't approved in either Canada or the United States for anything other than treatment of recurrent C. difficile infection that hasn't responded to other therapies.

Doctors and scientists have warned that any other use of this emerging therapy is experimental and carries serious risk of infection.

An illustration shows how fecal microbiota transplants are produced. (Vancouver Island Health Authority)

Fecal microbiota treatments take bacteria and other microbes from the poop of a healthy person and transfer them to a patient either anally or orally, with the goal of restoring a normal environment inside the gut.

Health Canada has already investigated an earlier complaint about Klop, and banned him from accepting Canadian patients at his Mexican retreats.

According to the latest decision from the college, the federal body has now opened a second investigation in response to the complaint from Klop's former employee.

'Significant risk' of potentially deadly pathogens

The decision says the unidentified former employee first reached out in April with her concerns, later providing shipping labels and invoices showing that Klop had exported his pills and enemas to Denmark, Edmonton and across the U.S.

It goes on to say that while the inquiry committee's panel was not in a position to address concerns about the quality of Klop's lab, there's no doubt he is producing and selling FMT for purposes that are not allowed in Canada, which puts the public at risk.

"The ingestion or other type of transfer of fecal material from one person to another necessarily carries risk," the decision says.

"The significant risk is that the donor's fecal material contains pathogens, such as E. coli, which, even in very small quantities, can cause illness or death to the recipient."

Klop fought against the college's attempt to restrict his business, submitting affidavits from himself, a current employee and two clients.

According to the decision, Klop's affidavit boasted that he has a new lab that "produces the best and safest FMT materials in the world" and described the former employee who complained as "manifestly unreliable."

WATCH | Fecal transplant myths debunked:

The power of poop: What fecal transplants can and cannot treat

2 years ago
2:39
Fecal transplants have shown a lot of promise for illnesses like C. difficile. As the treatment’s claimed list of uses grows, we debunk the myths 2:39

Klop argued that "lives are at stake" if he were to stop what he's doing and described his work as a "life-saving measure." 

The college described that argument as "hyperbole" and said there was nothing in his evidence to support those claims. It should be noted as well that autism is not a life-threatening condition.

He said FMT is now the sole income for his family and he would not be able to continue treating children in Mexico if he couldn't produce his own pills and enemas, but the college said that did not justify allowing him to continue.

"There is no way that the college can adequately protect public safety on an interim basis if Dr. Klop is allowed to continue his current FMT endeavours," the decision says.

CBC News has reached out to Klop for comment.

The latest iteration of his business, Novel Biome, was incorporated in B.C. last year, using an address in an office complex in Chilliwack. In a promotional video posted on the website in January, Klop says he believes that "precision manipulation of the gut microbiome will solve every single chronic disease."

In response to CBC's reporting on Klop's business last year, the B.C. Naturopathic Association, a volunteer professional organization, voted to suspend Klop's membership .

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bethany Lindsay

Journalist

Bethany Lindsay is a B.C. journalist with a focus on the courts, health, science and social justice issues. Questions or news tips? Get in touch at bethany.lindsay@cbc.ca or on Twitter through @bethanylindsay.

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