What next for Health Canada’s proposed NHP changes?

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock/francisLM
© iStock/francisLM
Health Canada has received over 3,500 written comments in response to its proposed changes to how natural health products and dietary supplements are regulated.

As reported last year by NutraIngredients-USA,​ a new structure for classifying products based on a product's risk was proposed. Products like many vitamin, mineral, probiotics, herbal preparations, and homeopathic products and cosmetics would be classed as “low risk”, meaning that Health Canada would not review or license these products.

Companies would still be required to meet requirements on quality standards set by Health Canada, but the agency would not review claims, and the claims could not be made about the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, mitigation of a disease or condition.

The consultation document, which can be read HERE​, stated that there are inconsistencies and gaps in the current post-market powers. However, some industry stakeholders have argued that the existing system works well and no change is necessary.

“Shaping the path forward”

A spokesperson for Health Canada told NutraIngredients-USA that over 3,500 submissions were received in this first round of consultation. “A report on what we heard during the consultation will be published in the coming months,”​ they added.

“Health Canada is building on the fall 2016 consultation, and will be further engaging consumers and other stakeholders on the development of a modernized approach to regulating self-care products. We will continue to be open and transparent, and plan to reach out via traditional online channels and in other ways,” ​said the spokesperson.

“In the coming months, we will hold face-to-face sessions in various cities across the country to provide more opportunities for all interested parties to share their perspectives on more refined policy proposals. We look forward to listening to the concerns and suggestions of consumers and stakeholders, and considering the feedback we receive.”

“The comments we have received so far will help to shape our path forward on the regulation of self-care products. More details on the upcoming engagement opportunities will be posted on www.canada.ca/selfcare-products​.”

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