Barrie-Innisfil MP John Brassard supports the many residents who have said they are concerned about regulatory changes to Natural Health Products in Canada. He wrote the following Letter to the Editor published by local media:
As Member of Parliament for Barrie-Innisfil, I am writing to express my deep concerns about regulatory changes affecting the Natural Health Products (NHPs) industry in our community and across Canada.
Hundreds of people in Barrie-Innisfil and beyond have reached out to me over the past few weeks, both by phone and email, expressing their anxieties about the impact of these changes. NHPs play a vital role in the proactive healthcare choices of Canadians, with a staggering 71% saying they rely on NHPs to support their own and their family’s well-being. These products include essential items like vitamins, probiotics, toothpaste, sunscreen, and deodorant.
The Liberal government’s regulatory changes are raising alarm bells for the future of this industry, particularly for small to medium-sized businesses that are the backbone of our local economy. Implemented in a piecemeal manner over the past year, changes have already created uncertainty for consumers and challenges for businesses in Canada.
A recent economic report revealed that one out of five NHP brands is even contemplating leaving the Canadian market due to increased costs and complexities in compliance. Businesses have been put in a tough spot, forcing some to cut jobs and increase prices on regulated products. In turn, these changes affect the availability of these essential products in our area.
With the 90-day personal importation allowance, Canadians may turn to online international marketplaces to purchase NHPs outside the monitoring of Health Canada and may choose brands that do not adhere to our country’s regulatory framework.
On June 6, I wrote to Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos to share the concerns I am hearing from Barrie-Innisfil and to urge him to work with industry stakeholders to embrace modern labelling and adjust proposed cost recovery rates to accurately reflect the size and scope of this industry.
Also, I encourage all Canadians to get involved in this important conversation through the upcoming consultations: Consultation on proposed fees for natural health products – Canada.ca.