Natural health product regulations have gone too far


by Lorenda Stefan, product educator and national sales manager, Enerex Botanicals Ltd.

Most people are not even aware that some of the most effective, safe and natural ingredients found in their nutritional supplements are under attack. In fact, the entire industry is under attack along with our Rights as Canadian Citizens. Even ingredients like enzymes, yes enzymes, are being scrutinized for their “long-term” safety. How can this be when more than 3,000 enzymes operate in our bodies? Enzymes are found in every raw food we eat and are essential for all metabolic processes; without the enzymes in our food, life does not exist.

But that’s in food. So how safe are supplemental enzymes? The use of enzymes in dietary supplements dates back to the early 1900s. Dr. Edward Howell, a pioneer in enzyme research, did an extensive study in the 1920s on the health benefits of enzyme supplements and reported no adverse side effects. Since then, thousands of healthcare professionals around the world have prescribed plant enzymes as a treatment for digestive disorders and inflammation. That’s right; we have been supplementing with enzymes for 100 years, but now they are in danger of being lost. Our SAD (Standard American Diet) is typically devoid of naturally occurring enzymes because most are destroyed when food is cooked or processed. Therefore, many Canadians require supplemental enzymes and other essential nutrients to ensure the body is provided with the building blocks to good health. At Enerex, we know, as do our customers, the importance of enzymes in daily life and in times of crisis. We have been supplying products with enzymes for over 15 years with nothing but positive outcomes.

Supplementation with nutritional products is safe. So safe in fact that not a single person in Canada has ever died from using a natural health product. So why is our government trying to deny us access to products and ingredients that have a proven safety record? That is a serious question that each and every one of us must ask of our local Member of Parliament (MP) before it is too late. Health industry manufacturers and suppliers offer products that improve people’s quality of health and yet these products are being targeted for the “risks” they pose. The statistical risk of dying from taking an NHP is only slightly higher than that of being hit by a meteorite. In other words, there is no risk.

On the supply side, these unfair, unsubstantiated regulations hurt companies, but more importantly, they hurt people. People who choose to take herbal supplements and NHPs to help reduce their risk of degenerative disease and to maintain or improve their health are being penalized. Why is it okay to sell cigarettes, alcohol and prescription medications, all of which are known to kill people, when products like parsley capsules may be targeted by Health Canada because there isn’t “sufficient evidence” available that they are safe? Think about this when considering the fact that Health Canada originally believed that highly addictive chemical-laden beverages like “energy drinks” were safe and actually made them some of the first products to receive Natural Product Numbers for licence to sell as health products. This is from the very government agency that is supposed to protect the health of Canadians. 

What is this country coming to and when are we going to stand up for our right to choose our own path to optimal health? Enough is enough. It is time to contact your local MP to demand action on your behalf.
References: Save our Supplements Canada: Analysis of Relative Risks and Levels of Risk in Canada by Ron Law.

2 thoughts on “Natural health product regulations have gone too far”

  1. maybe health canada is going to take meteorites off the market as well?
    great article, Lorenda!
    thank you


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