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  • Writer's pictureCitizens for Choice

Canada Well On Its Way To Being "Codexed"

Consider a multinational pharmaceutical conglomerate that does business in many countries throughout the world. It is an inconvenient barrier and expense that every country has a different set of regulations governing the drugs it sells, and the corporation has to go through a different approval process in each state.

So to eliminate this regulatory obstacle and facilitate business what does the company do? Answer: It influences and manipulates the bureaucratic agencies in as many countries as possible to "harmonize" their regulations so there is one set of rules to play by.... a single playing field.

Our officials at Health Canada euphemistically term this "modernization", so every time you hear them use this word, think "harmonization and globalization", (which means domination by transnationals), because that's what it actually is. For an example see this 2010 post.

This harmonization process is then facilitated with international trade agreements like CETA, (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), which Canada just signed with the European Union - home to many mammoth pharmaceutical companies. With the World Trade Organization-mediated trade agreements in place, countries can be sued for interfering with business profits, as multi-national conglomerates' business practices supercede national laws.

The next device to help establish the single playing field is an international coalition of pharmaceutical and healthcare regulators, i.e. ICMRA...the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities, which Canada actually chaired until last Fall. (ICMRA)

Given the blooming popularity of Natural Health Products (NHPs), and that isolated constituents from herbs are the frontier for new drugs, (similar to aspirin from white willow bark.), these Regulatory Authorities are moving to over-regulate NHP's so as to eliminate smaller business competition, and allow pharmaceutical companies to invoke NHP use-patents. With ICMRA in place, NHPs are being cracked-down on across the globe.

This is also what is happening in Canada right now with Health Canada's new Regulatory Proposals for NHP's. After spending more than $2 billion of taxpayer's money from 2004 to 2013 on the formation of the Natural Health Product Regulations, only 3 years later, in 2016, HC proposed to completely revamp them with new draconian changes.

Despite 2 of the biggest protests in Canadian history, for the third time HC is trying to force NHPs under the same regulatory umbrella as pharmaceutical drugs. They say it is to ensure that NHP product claims are backed up. Yet they themselves approved all those claims based on 3rd-party peer-reviewed evidence, or traditional use for over 50 years. The natural health industry spent hundreds of millions of dollars establishing claims and complying with the regulations. Yet if these new proposals are approved, they are going to have to start from scratch. 

Does this make sense? Is this how you want billions of your tax dollars spent, i.e. over-regulating products that have never killed a single Canadian since records were kept in the 1950's?

In the proposals HC is again trying to assume the power to be able to recall products with no legal recourse whatsoever for the company involved. With this power they can destroy companies. Even if HC was totally in error in a recall, they would be judge, jury, and prosecutor. This from an agency that has a long-standing bias against the natural health industry, in favour of the pharmaceutical industry. (See: Shawn Buckley video at bottom)

Further, members of the Canadian Health Food Association were informed by the HC directorate that is supposed to be regulating NHPs, i.e. the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate, that they didn't even come-up with the proposals. Rather, that they were handed-down to them by a "committee" of "senior management" at HC, and the directorate was simply told to make it happen.

Subsequent Access to Information Requests (ATI's) to uncover which HC officials were involved, and moreso, which pharmaceutical companies were at the table when these proposals were formed have been given the "royal run-around", i.e. largely stonewalled. And the scant documentation that was released, was mostly redacted, blacked-out. (So much for the Health Minister's claim that they are working towards greater HC transparency.)

Yet what did come out of the ATI were the names of the four HC senior officials that were part of the committee.

Keep in mind that none of these individuals have any medical or healthcare training. They are just bureaucrats, yet are making healthcare decisions that impact over 33 million Canadians:

1. Simon Kennedy - Deputy Minister of Health at Health Canada

2. Anil Arora - Assistant Deputy Minister of Health

3. Pierre Sabourin - Assistant Deputy Minister - Health Products and Food Branch

4. Paul Glover - President- Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Make no mistake, these are are the top-brass HC officials in the healthcare regulatory area, and if all four of them are collaborating on proposals, and handing them down to a regulatory department, you can bet they are of international keeping with their publicly proclaimed committments to an international harmonization agenda, complements of ICMRA.

And which rule book is ICMRA playing by? CODEX of course, Codex Alimentarius, already largely in place for NHPs in Europe via what is called the "European Union Directive on Food Supplements". In the EU, virtually everything is controlled by doctors and the pharmaceutical industry, and most supplements are simply not available over-the-counter, if at all.

Codex is all about global harmonization of food and food supplements. To learn about it all you have to do is google it. Codex started in 1962 , and Canada has always been an active participant. 

So whose interests are these Health Canada bureaucrats working to maintain? They are supposed to be working for you, not the pharmaceutical industry, but that certainly does not appear to be the case.

Though we were unable to obtain email addresses off the internet, you can call them with your thoughts and comments about what they are doing at the following telephone numbers derived from the Government of Canada Directory..

After pay their salaries!

Anil Arora :  ph: 613-957-1804

Paul Glover: ph:  613-773-6000

Pierre Sabourin: ph: 613-957-1804

Simon Kennedy: ph: 613-957-0212

For more information watch this Shawn Buckley LLC video

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