Sunday, October 1, 2023

Canada wants to regulate natural health products

Rodrigo Diaz m.

Canadian senators are considering a new rule that would require more closely monitoring the side effects of natural health products.

Part of Bill C-47, which implements several commitments made by the federal government under Budget 2023, would bring natural health products like herbal remedies and supplements into the Vanessa Act, requiring hospitals to report any adverse reactions associated with them. forces to do. products.

Health Canada defines natural health products as “substances of natural origin used to restore or maintain good health”. Also called “alternative” or “complementary” medicines, they can come in the form of tablets, capsules, tinctures, solutions, creams, ointments and drops.

Some examples of natural health products are vitamins and minerals, herbal medicines, homeopathic and traditional medicines, and probiotics.

Health Canada states that some everyday consumer products, such as toothpaste and shampoo, may also be defined as natural health products in Canada. Health Canada says these products are “generally safer and have fewer side effects than prescription drugs,” but notes that they are “not without risk.”

According to the health agency, risks include manufacturing problems, unproven claims, lack of information for consumers, interactions with other drugs or natural health products, and potentially unwanted side effects.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the US government agency that regulates these products south of the border, also states that just because an ingredient is of “natural” origin and not artificially manufactured does not mean Not that it is completely safe.

For example, the agency says that kava, a plant native to the South Pacific that has been used as a dietary supplement, may be associated with severe liver damage.

Some critics argue that Health Canada has not done enough to keep potentially unsafe products away from consumers.

According to a 2021 report from the Office of the Auditor General, 88% of natural products tested were advertised with misleading information. Some products contained unauthorized and unsubstantiated health claims, incorrect dosages, incomplete ingredient lists, or unreadable information on product labels.

Since 2014, after the federal government passed the Vanessa Law, hospitals have been required to report adverse health reactions associated with any drug product.

At that time, natural health products were excluded from these reporting requirements. But these proposed new rules in Bill C-47 would bring natural health products under the same umbrella as Vanessa’s law.

The Canadian Health Food Association, which represents the natural health products industry, says it is surprised by the proposed regulation, claiming the proposals have not been properly studied and debated, but a bill included in the general budget Has been done

For its part, the Canadian Pharmacists Association has come out in favor of regulation, saying natural products should have been included when the Vanessa Act was passed in 2014.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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