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Natural Health Products (NHPs), including homeopathic medications, are important self-care products that many Canadians rely on daily. However, it's important to remember that even if a product is labeled a "natural', it isn't always safe. Like all drugs, NHPs may have serious side effects. Health Canada is seeking your input on new regulations which would improve safety by ensuring manufacturers provide more information to consumers.

As Canadians, patients and consumers, Patients for Patient Safety Canada (PFPSC) has been actively supporting Health Canada's review of the regulatory framework for self-care products.  Selfcare products include many common items found in drug and grocery stores, including toothpaste, sunscreen and shampoo. They also include natural health and homeopathic products like vitamins and minerals, herbs, and homeopathic preparations.

Health Canada's new regulations are designed to enhance consumer safety by requiring;

  1. A Product Facts table: Important product information would be required in the format of a standardized facts table.
  2. Labelling of food allergens, gluten, and aspartame: If a product contains a priority food allergen like gluten, or aspartame, a statement indicating the source of the food allergen, gluten or aspartame would be required on the product's label.
  3. Clearly and prominently displayed label text: Regulatory text on the label, including within the Product Facts table, would be subject to improved legibility requirements, including a minimum type size, font types, and contrast.
  4. Modernized contact information: A manufacturer or importer could display an e-mail address, telephone number, or website address within an NHP's Product Facts table instead of a postal address, as is currently required.

Consultations are the cornerstone of the regulation of health products in Canada. From the Standing Committee on Health's examination of the issue, to the draft Regulations, to the publication of the Natural Health Products Regulations in Canada Gazette, Parts I and II, PFPSC have been involved every step of the way. Now is your chance to get involved.

Health Canada is seeking input from the public on the new regulations. If you're interested in learning more, visit Health Canada's website.

To show your support and/or to participate in the consultation, download a copy of a sample feedback letter and make it your own. Then send it to: hc.lrm.consultations-mlr.sc@canada.ca.