Save Our Supplements

What Health Canada’s proposed changes could mean for your business


Helen Long, President, The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA)

By now you’re hopefully aware that Health Canada is proposing a framework that could significantly alter the way natural health products (NHPs) are currently regulated under the existing NHP Regulations.

To prevent the proposal from moving ahead, we’ve been working hard to ensure Members of Parliament (MPs) across the county hear our concerns. We’ve sent over 35,000 electronic letters through our website and encouraged our members to not only send thousands of postcards to their MPs, but to meet with them directly to voice their opinions.

How the regulations currently work

Right now, all NHPs on your store shelves are reviewed, licensed and given an NPN. The existing regulations take into account the unique properties and low-risk nature of these products, ensuring that you and your customers have access to safe, effective, and high-quality products, while respecting freedom of choice, and the philosophical and cultural diversity of our country.

What could change?

Changing the way NHPs are regulated will have an impact on product availability on your store shelves. Preforming the research required for non-prescription drugs is vastly expensive. If the same level of research will be required for natural ingredients, the result could be price increases and loss of product from the retail level.

The proposal also suggests that Health Canada will no longer review some of the products, and will therefore require a disclaimer in line with “Health Canada has not reviewed.” Additionally, claims based on previously accepted evidence may no longer be allowed and would be removed from the label. This limits the amount of information your consumer receives about the product.

When will this happen?

Health Canada has stated that this is a preliminary proposal, and changes to the existing regulatory framework are not going to occur in the short term. We hope that the consultation feedback helps Health Canada realize Canadians are confident in the current NHP regulatory system. CHFA will continue representing the concerns of the NHP industry as the consultation progresses.

How you can help?

Please take one minute and visit to send an electronic letter directly to your MP letting them know you are not okay with these changes. Here you will also find the latest updates on upcoming roundtable discussions that Health Canada will be conducting. It is our hope that through our combined efforts, Health Canada will realize this proposal is trying to fix a system that is not broken.

If you’re not yet a CHFA Member and want to stay current on regulatory changes, please join today by contacting or (800) 661-4510 ext. 221.

Helen Long is the President of the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA).