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New federal government regulations could soon see price of supplements, natural health products increase

Health Canada is proposing new regulations on natural health products that include cost recovery and new labeling guidelines — fees that companies will pay.

The Canadian Health Food Association meanwhile called the changes “drastic” and said lack stakeholder engagement.

“All of that would result in less Canadian companies producing these products, these high quality products, there would be an increase in prices of products that remain on shelves,” explained CHFA President and CEO, Aaron Skelton.

Price increases could be seen on anything from supplements to toiletries and more. Health Canada charges fees to recover part or all of the costs incurred to deliver its programs, which ensures that businesses pay their fair share and minimize the burden on the taxpayer — they’re now putting this on producers.

“We commissioned a study with Deloitte that showed one in five businesses were likely not going to be viable and would leave Canada. The vast majority of those would have to remove products from shelves, and even more concerning is over 70 per cent of them would have to lay off staff in order to accommodate the impact of some of these regulations,” Skelton told CTV News London.

As of July 2022, producers must update labels, expand on ingredients and flag any allergens. Health Canada is giving them six years to make the modifications, and said the goal is to protect Canadians.

“There was recently an audit that was completed and they found some issues with natural health products on the market,” explained Celia Lourenco at Health Canada.

Lourenco said some health products had ingredients missing from their labels.

“There were false claims on the labels, and also found some issues with false advertising claims, so some products, for example, making cancer claims where there was no evidence to support that,” she elaborated.

But if the cost is on the companies, the Canadian Health Food Association said it will trickle down to the consumer, which will force Canadians to order their natural health products elsewhere.

“Ultimately one of our larger concerns is, all these changes impacting very compliant companies in Canada, while still allowing for importation in online markets. Unfortunately, these products are not regulated by Health Canada, there is no oversight there post or pre-market,” said Skelton.

To that, Health Canada said it encourages Canadians to only purchase Canadian regulated products. Top Stories


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