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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Canadians beat Bill C-51 — but watch the back door!

ANH, 24 June 2008

Bye-bye C-51

Around a million Canadians made their feelings known about Bill C-51, an amendment introduced by the Harper government to the Canadian Food & Drugs Act. The mass opposition to this Bill forced the Canadian Parliament to call off the second reading last Friday. The Bill, having been successfully through first reading on 8 April 2008, is now dead. Hooray for mass protest!

The Bill was going to create a new category called 'therapeutic products' which would throw natural health products—or ‘therapeutic foods’—into the same category as drugs. It would also have given Canadian authorities obscene powers to raid premises, confiscate products—with no reasons given. It would scare the small, somewhat fragile and fragmented natural products industry into submission—an industry that is the life line for millions of consumers who prefer to take natural products rather than drugs to manage their health.

To find out more about what Bill C-51 was going to mean to Canadian citizens, click here.

If there is one true hero—and of course there are many—in the C-51 battle, it is none other than Shawn Buckley, President of the Natural Health Products Protection Association. Shawn, we fully recognize and appreciate your fantastic work and capability.

However, many will realize that in the minds of those steering the government-corporate machine that is hell-bent on removing our ability to freely access unpatented, natural products and ‘therapeutic foods’ (aren’t all wholesome foods therapeutic?) used in healthcare, this is a chess game. A chess game on which Canadian citizens’ lives depend.

Enter: Bill C-52

The backdoor the authorities are planning to use is Bill C-52. This Bill is designed for something entirely different. It’s meant to be about protecting consumers from unsafe products and chemicals, such as pesticides. It is not directly concerned with natural health products.

But, Shawn Buckley has identified that by slipping in one simple amendment to Schedule 1 of Bill C-52, the Bill could be applied to natural health products overnight. It could—put simply—be used to take away their rights in the name of safety.

And the clock is ticking. The Bill made it though second reading on 1 May 2008! One more reading and it’s through!

To find out more about Bill C-52, click here.

If you consider that the Canadian government has been an active party supporting the entire direction of the Codex Alimentarius Commission’s nutrition committee, which is developing international guidelines and standards on ‘safe’ nutrient levels—that are pitifully low because of a misapplication of scientific risk assessment—you’ll understand that Canadians cannot afford to let this one slip through.

These ludicrously low global levels, sanctioned by the Canadian government, will become the stick with which it can beat its citizens!

What to do

If you are a Canadian citizen, please don't rest on your laurels for a second. If you aren't a Canadian citizen but have friends or relatives there—you have a duty to let them know if you care about their futures and you know they care about their natural health.

The chess game is still running. The backdoor is open—don’t let them make that move as it’s not only your lives at risk—it’s future generations that could have it so much worse if these sorts of legislative proposals are allowed to emerge as law.

More and more people are joining the dots.

Also—make sure you keep a close eye on the National Health Products Protection Association website.

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