Friday, August 29, 2008

Give Up?

No we won't! Not even for a second so try your best, it won't make a dent in our resolve. This is the age of Pluto.

Canadian's beat Bill C-51 — but watch the back door!

3 comments:

Ex-drone said...

If you're going to criticize Bill C-51, then you should really get your facts straight about it first.

You said, "The Bill, having been successfully through first reading on 8 April 2008, is now dead. Hooray for mass protest!" Actually, the Bill is not dead. The Parliament has debated it in the House over four sessions and then ran out of time before summer recess to pass it at second reading. If Harper does not call an election, the House will likely vote to pass the Bill in late September and send it to the House Standing Committee on Health for hearings.

You said, "The Bill was going to create a new category called 'therapeutic products' which would throw natural health products—or 'therapeutic foods'—into the same category as drugs." Actually, NHPs are currently a sub-class of drugs in the current Food and Drugs Act and have been since the 2004 NHP Regulations that are subject to the Act. Similarly, the term "therapeutic product" is currently in use, as can be seen by the 2006 Health Canada brochure Access to Therapeutic Products.

You said, "It would also have given Canadian authorities obscene powers to raid premises, confiscate products". Actually, sections 23-27 of the current Food and Drugs Act gives inspectors substantial powers of inspection, seizure and forfeiture, including warrantless entrance of private property, that are in line with the power given to federal inspectors in at least a dozen other Acts. Bill C-51 closes some of the loopholes in those powers but not substantially.

You said, "removing our ability to freely access unpatented, natural products and 'therapeutic foods' ". Actually, Health Canada's NHP Directorate is led by a naturopath, staffed by CAM professionals and advised by CAM practitioners. They established the NHP Regulations in 2004 to legitimize NHPs. Since then, they have reviewed over 13,000 applications to license those products. I see participation not elimination.

When you refer to Codex Alimentarius, you do realize that, since Canada does not regulate NHPs as food, the Codex does not apply to Canadian NHPs.

Canadian NHP consumers deserve to have the safety and quality of their NHPs protected. If you doubt the need for safety enforcement or believe that the NHP industry is so saintly that they will do it themselves, check out Health Canada's list of Advisories, Warnings and Recalls under the categories Ayurvedic Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Dietary Supplements, Herbal Medicines, Natural Health Products, Sexual Enhancement Products, Sleep Supplements, and Weight Loss.

It is likely that Harper will call an election soon, which will kill all in-progress Bills. However, whether the Conservatives or Liberals get in, a Bill similar to C-51 will return because product safety legislation for drugs, NHPs and food needs to brought up to date.

And before you beatify Shawn Buckley and completely buy into the propaganda of the StopC51 crowd, you might want to do some critical thinking about their corporate motives.

Barry Green
Ottawa Skeptics

Pema said...

How little did I know that skepticism was an actual religion now being practiced in the temples of the pharmaceuticals. Thanks for your enlightenment in that regard ex-drone.
PS - I didn't write this article. I just posted it. ;-)

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