My food, my medicine, my choice

by Adam Sealey

• Do you believe your government has your best interests at heart when it comes to the health of you and your family? From my personal experience and that of many others, it’s clear our government is in a deep conflict of interest and has never been more corrupt and contradictory in its actions than it is today. It’s time we stand up as citizens and demand two things of our government.

Firstly, we must demand that Health Canada cease its witchhunt of safe and time-tested, effective natural health products. Secondly, we must also demand that a proper label appear on all untested genetically modified foods so people can make an informed choice and avoid the serious potential risks inherent in these “Frankenfoods.” In the US presidential election this fall, California’s Proposition 37 seeks to do just that: to finally label GMO foods. We need the same here in Canada, now.

There has been only one study on GMO foods with human subjects and it raised serious concerns. No follow up studies have been done. Several studies have been done on lab rats that showed the rats that were fed GMO foods suffered damage to their DNA and RNA as well as to their internal organs. And yet these foods are deemed safe and no labelling is required in Canada or the US while nearly every other country in the world requires that they be labelled. Are we the human lab rats?

It’s time to wake up, get up and demand “Our Food, Our Medicine, Our Choice!”

Every doctor can state the Hippocratic Oath they must take: “First, do no harm.” But do these doctors and our governments follow this creed? Let’s look at an example of the blatant violation of this oath and the corruption at Health Canada with the true story of TrueHope.

When Anthony Stephan tragically lost his first wife to suicide, he was driven to find out why. He learned she was deficient in the proper nutrients, vitamins and minerals, which led to severe depression. He subsequently developed a multi vitamin and mineral formula and named it EmpowerPlus. Thousands of Canadians found relief from depression, bipolar disorder, OCD and other conditions. Sales skyrocketed and people got their lives back together. Five studies done out of the University of Calgary and Harvard showed conclusively that the product was both safe and effective. In July of 2003, Health Canada halted all shipments of EmpowerPlus at the US/Canada border citing it had no DIN number, which under the Act was no longer required. Health Canada set up a 1-800 crisis line for people suffering without their medicine. Many people smuggled the product over the border.

In March of 2004, Dr. James Lunney, a Conservative MP from Vancouver Island pleaded with the Minister of Health to grant an exemption to TrueHope for this life-saving product. It was granted and product began to flow again. Today, EmpowerPlus has 19 published studies showing it to be safe and effective – more studies than any other natural health formula in Canada. EmpowerPlus has an NPN# (license) and yet Health Canada continues with its vendetta to put them out of business. TrueHope took Health Canada to court to ensure that, in future, people have the right to choose their vital medications, whatever they might be. But now Health Canada is after TrueHope Nutritional Support Ltd. again, seeking to recover their court costs in the case and more and shut down and silence the non-profit that offers counselling, support and in some cases free product to poor and mentally ill people who would otherwise have no other option. Health Canada wants to make an example of them to discourage anyone else from standing up for their rights. The court has yet to grant the public the right to witness this case in court. If it does, the hearings will start on December 10 in the Federal Court in Calgary. Please lend your support in whichever way you can in this crucial decision, for you, for me, for Canada, for health freedom.

TrueHope has been told by Health Canada that it can’t talk about the benefits of its products or its published studies, contrary to Section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which grants all Canadians the right to freedom of expression. You and I have the right to put anything into our bodies, as ruled by the Supreme Court of Canada, unless it’s an illegal and controlled substance. Are vitamins, minerals, herbs and enzymes illegal? Not yet.

Since 2004, against the wishes of the Canadian Parliament and the Canadian public, we have had Health Canada (HC) and their Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD) forcing NHP producers to water down their safe and effective product formulations, put unnecessary warning labels on them and deny NHP licenses with often no scientific basis other than “expert opinion” all under the guise of “protecting the health and safety of Canadians” as goes their mantra. Health Canada’s approach, as in the TrueHope case, is causing harm to the natural health industry and to the people who rely on these world-class health supplements. It talks a lot about risk vs. benefit, but it doesn’t apply the same rigors to genetically modified foods (GMOs), products that are full of artificial dyes and chemicals, or to drugs. Over-the-counter and prescription drugs kill about 20,000 Canadians a year, according to an article published by Conservative MP, Terrance Young whose daughter died from a drug called Prepulsid. When will you have had enough of this?

In 2001, I injured my shoulder and biceps tendon while white water kayaking and was enthusiastically prescribed Vioxx by my doctor to deal with the inflammation. It made me feel very sick. In 2005, I cut my leg while rock climbing and developed an infection for which I was given Ciprofloxacin. I didn’t know what else to do. Five years later, I read that this class of antibiotics is known to cause many problems, including tendon rupture, tissue wasting and too many serious problems to even list here. Many people have had the same experiences. I visited UBC Sports Medicine Centre in 2010 and was diagnosed with cartilage damage to the talus joint in my foot as well as a partial tear of my supraspinatus tendon. Could the Cipro have done this? It’s quite likely. Vioxx was found to be responsible for the death of tens of thousands of people and major lawsuits have resulted.

Former Health Canada senior drug reviewer Dr. Michele Brill-Edwards, who resigned in disgust at the direction of the agency, told the Globe and Mail in 1997, “It’s becoming more and more evident that the department considers that the client of Health Canada is not the Canadian citizen, who has a right to know about the benefits and risks of a drug. They consider the client to be the [pharmaceutical] industry.”

In 2004, the Stephen Harper campaign had this to say about natural health products in the “One Conservative Voice” campaign platform document: “A Stephen Harper government will pass Dr. James Lunney’s Bill C-420 to regulate NHPs as food-style rather than drug-style products.” He also states “health care is a provincial jurisdiction.”

Mr. Harper, do you need some Ginkgo Biloba to stimulate your memory? Soon, you’ll need a doctor’s prescription like in the EU where such things are basically illegal without it. Oh, wait, doctors don’t know anything about herbs. Never mind.

Write or call your Member of Parliament today and demand that GMO foods be labelled and that the NHPD and Health Canada stop their charter rights violating attack on safe and effective natural health products by suspending the current regulations until an independent review is conducted. Visit and to learn about labelling of GMO foods. Also see and to learn how to preserve your right to choose your natural health care options.

Adam Sealey is a health freedom activist who is deeply concerned about the looming loss of our natural and holistic healthcare options and basic freedoms. He is still in recovery from the damaging effects of pharmaceutical prescription anti-biotic and anti-inflammatory drugs. He can be reached at

9 thoughts on “My food, my medicine, my choice”

  1. “re Polevoy and foul language or that sort of thing”……if Polevoy publishes anything it would considered foul and of corse if his lips are moving he must be lying….good job keep censuring this nut bar….he’s a menace to society…..

  2. Thanks for the prompt reply, Adam. A follow-up article sounds like a good idea. Although I am a very passionate advocate for labeling of GMOs, I am not really a writer. I find writing a far too painful and time-consuming process, so prefer to leave it to ‘real’ writers whenever possible. Here’s to success in bringing GMO labeling to California in November, followed by other states, and then Canada. We will win because our argument is reasonable, logical, fair, very widely supported, and most of all because we will never give up.

  3. Thanks for weighing in on this one, Philip. I hear you and I agree.
    I did put this article together far too quickly and now that I look at that statement again it is obviously overstated as you say.
    I’m going to put together a follow up article for the October issue and make some corrections.
    Maybe you’d like to submit an article to us about gmo foods?

  4. Dear Adam,
    While I completely support your call for GMO labeling, I would ask you to be careful not to exaggerate any claim you make. To get the labeling we all deserve we need to stick to verifiable facts and not get dragged into saying anything that could be used to undermine our whole argument. In this article your state (on the subject of GMOs): “And yet these foods are deemed safe and no labelling is required in Canada or the US while nearly every other country in the world requires that they be labelled.”
    This is simply not true and if I wanted to attack your basic premise (that GMOs should be labeled) then your factual inaccuracy would be a great place to start (there are approximately 200 countries in the world, and approximately 50 have GMO labeling – a long way from ‘nearly every other’).
    Please, in future use clarity and accuracy to present your valid argument, otherwise you unwittingly hand ammunition to the other side.
    Kind Regards,
    Philip Solman – publisher – Edible Vancouver magazine

  5. Dear LeeAnn,
    thank you for adding your comments to the discussion. I am saddened to hear of the loss of your brother. My condolences go out to you and your family.
    It does not change my position that regardless of the situation, people have the right, according to our Canadian Charter Rights to do with their bodies as they best see fit rather than giving that power over to the state, which, happily approves known poisons and toxic drugs all the time and sees their “client” as the drug companies and not the Canadian public which pays their salaries.
    My sister was prescribed Prozac for post partum depression and after only a month on it she was near suicide. Many DO commit suicide because of anti-depressants which is well documented. She went off the prozac, improved her diet and lifestyle, including vitamins and minerals, and is now happy and well balanced.
    I wonder why it’s ok for drug companies to do this while people who decide to get off certain medications to try natural solutions are treated with such prejudice?
    From my research Truehope has 19 published studies and is shown to be effective and not harmful. Why would Health Canada approve their EMP, while denying approval of EmpowerPlus when the ONLY difference is boron, which is approved in other formulations?


    Adam, for Common Ground Admin

  6. Dear Dr. Polevoy, I do not block comments unless they use foul language or that sort of thing.
    We have been short staffed this last week is all. However, the only comment I show on our site is this one so perhaps you could try again?
    Regards, Common Ground Admin

  7. Mr.Sealey, as the sister of the slain man, I will inform you that it was agreed upon by the court that Don would still be alive had my nephew been on the prescribed antipsychotics. Donald Ramsay’s life should not be minimized this way. The psychotic person and his under-educated mother were not capable of making such a choice, even after being repeatedly warned by the psychiatric community of the risks and potential outcomes of reducing or eliminating prescribed meds. Truehope is advising patients to get off their meds. These people on the support line have no medical training. It is Health Canada’s job to protect us from ourselves sometimes. Natural products have their place but not in treating serious mental illness. Truehope has no right to make the claims it makes and unfortunately is targeting the vulnerable and the desperate.

    I believe the EmpowerPlus has far greater amounts and does not reveal it’s “proprietary blend” which could, in fact, be harmful. From the research I have done, some of the ingredients are not indicated for schizophrenia. Truehope needs to get the proper trials and be approved for treatment of mental illness before it is allowed in Canada.

    Rest in Peace brother.

  8. Dear Common Ground readers, turns out I was mistaken in my understanding about which TrueHope products have their NPN #’s and which, officially, do not.

    To clarify, TrueHope’s EMP (advertised in the September issue on page 3) DOES have it’s NPN# and the only difference between it and EmPowerPlus is that the NHPD required them to remove the 1.2 mg of boron and use veggie caps instead of gelcaps. Boron is widely used in other supplements and it’s upper limit has been established at 20mg per day but for some unknown reason they would not approve it in the EmPowerPlus.

    TrueHope also has an NPN# for their EmPower18 Plus, which is currently not being sold retail in Canada but is being ordered in from the US by many people with great results.

    It’s interesting to note people’s enthusiasm around pointing out the odd person who goes off pharmaceutical medication and causes harm to themselves
    or others. Blaming this on the existence of natural health products is neither scientific or rational especially considering that the major
    point here is that people should have the choice….it’s our right. This while ignoring the 20,000 or so Canadians who do die or are harmed by
    Health Canada approved pharma drugs that break the Hippocratic Oath of “first, do no harm”, which in and of themselves natural health products
    do not. I wonder why the same standards of evidence of harm and causality do not apply on both sides? Could it be, as Dr. Shiv Chopra says “corrupt
    to the core”? Take a look at the big picture and decide for yourselves.

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