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441-01860 (Health)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada and the Minister of Health


Health Canada is proposing to significantly change natural health product (NHPs) regulations;

We rely on NHPS, which include basic everyday products such as supplements, toothpaste, vitamins, probiotics, and mineral SPF, as part of our proactive healthcare;

If we don't act immediately, consumer prices will rise significantly, and consumer choice will decline drastically, when inflation is at an all-time high and access to healthcare is at an all-time low;

Health Canada recently proposed new and significant fees to import, manufacture, and sell NHPs at the same time they are implementing new labelling laws;

This is unfair, unrealistic, and so costly to industry that it will force many small to medium-sized businesses to shut down Canadian operations;

The burden of these costs for those that can afford the changes will be passed down to the consumer, and these are not changes or fees Canadians can afford;

Increasing fees and additional labelling does not promote safety for taking NHPs, it makes products more expensive; and

In fact, this overregulation will force consumers to seek out products online which could lead people purchasing non-compliant, unregulated NHPs from outside of Canada.

We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Minister of Health to work with the industry to embrace modern labelling and adjust Health Canada's proposed cost recovery rates to accurately reflect the size and scope of the industry; and that new regulatory changes should only be implemented once the Self-Care Framework is adjusted and backlogs are cleared, operations run efficiently, and there are policies and procedures in place to ensure the stable operations continue.

Response by the Minister of Health

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Minister Mark Holland

Health Canada recognizes that natural health products (NHPs) are important to Canadians to help support and maintain their health and is committed to supporting access to natural health products that are safe and of high quality.

While NHPs are generally lower risk products, that does not mean they are without risk, especially if products are contaminated, or used improperly.

In 2021, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development completed an audit of Health Canada’s NHP program and found both strengths and areas for improvement. Health Canada committed to undertaking a number of initiatives to improve the oversight of these products.

In an effort to make natural health products safer for consumers and support Canadians in making informed choices, Health Canada recently introduced two important regulatory and legislative changes:

  • In July 2022, after extensive consultation and feedback from stakeholders, Health Canada introduced new regulatory requirements to make natural health product labels easier for Canadians to read and understand. This includes, for example, increased font size and improved colour contrast.
  • In June 2023, Parliament passed legislation enabling Health Canada to take more action if a serious risk to health is identified with a natural health product. This legislation allows Health Canada to order recalls or add warnings to labels, if necessary, which the Department could not do before.

Presently, NHPs are the only line of health products where the regulatory activities are fully funded by Canadian taxpayers.

Health Canada knows that many NHP companies are small businesses and is committed to supporting them. The Department is considering measures to help alleviate the impact of fees on businesses.  This includes fee reductions of 25% to 50% and a full waiver of pre-market evaluation fees for small businesses marketing their first product.

Health Canada is actively reviewing thousands of comments received on its fee proposal, including those relating to the proposed fee reductions for small businesses, as part of an open and transparent consultation process with Canadians and businesses. At this time,  Health Canada is considering how best to adjust the  proposed approach to address concerns raised prior to further engagement with stakeholders.

Ultimately, this initiative is about ensuring Canadians have access to natural health products that are safe, effective and of high quality, while supporting small businesses through this process.

Presented to the House of Commons
Mel Arnold (North Okanagan—Shuswap)
October 31, 2023 (Petition No. 441-01860)
Government response tabled
December 14, 2023
Photo - Mel Arnold
North Okanagan—Shuswap
Conservative Caucus
British Columbia

50 signatures

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.