Save Our Supplements

Season 1 | Episode 39
15m | Jul 1, 2023

In this episode of the Tonic talk show and Podcast, Annie Moffett, a respected naturopathic doctor with over 20 years of experience in the field of natural health supplements, delves into a pressing issue that could significantly affect the availability and affordability of supplements in Canada. Hosted by [host name], this interview sheds light on the proposed changes to the regulation of natural health products by Health Canada.

Annie Moffett starts by explaining the proposed legislation, which includes imposing excessive and unnecessary costs on manufacturers of natural health products. These costs primarily involve licensing fees, yearly fees, and fees associated with the Natural Product Number (NPN) system. She highlights the potential financial burden these changes could place on companies, especially larger ones with extensive product lines.

The discussion revolves around the importance of NPNs, which are eight-digit numbers displayed on supplement labels or packaging. Annie Moffett emphasizes that NPNs serve as an assurance that the natural products have met specific standards and have been authorized for sale in Canada. The NPN system ensures that products do not make exaggerated claims and provides information on dosage recommendations, potential interactions, side effects, and the scientific basis behind health claims.

While NPNs play a crucial role in maintaining the safety and integrity of natural health products, Annie Moffett clarifies that the proposed changes do not introduce any improvements to the existing regulations. Instead, the changes solely focus on imposing fees for the services that were previously provided free of charge by Health Canada. This shift from a cost-free system to charging companies for NPNs is seen as a significant departure from the current regime.

Annie Moffett shares her perspective on why the proposed changes are unfair and discriminative. Currently, Health Canada funds its work through collected taxes, which amounted to over $700 million in supplement tax revenue in 2020. Additionally, the projected growth in supplement sales indicates that more tax revenue will be generated in the coming years. She argues that the existing tax revenue should be sufficient to cover the costs without burdening manufacturers and ultimately increasing prices for consumers.

Furthermore, Annie Moffett advocates for maintaining access to affordable supplements, as they play a crucial role in proactively improving and maintaining one's health. She suggests that increasing the cost of supplements may discourage low-income individuals from investing in their well-being, potentially leading to negative impacts on public health. She emphasizes the need for a holistic approach, where natural products and healthy lifestyles can alleviate the burden on the healthcare system and contribute to preventing chronic diseases.

The conversation concludes with a discussion on the discrepancy between taxing natural health products and pharmaceutical drugs. Annie Moffett highlights the unfairness of imposing taxes on natural medicine while pharmaceutical drugs remain exempt. She expresses concerns about the Canadian government's inclination toward increasing costs for those who choose natural remedies instead of pharmaceutical options, asserting that such measures push people in the wrong direction.

Join Annie Moffett and [host name] as they shed light on the proposed changes to natural health product regulations in Canada. Gain valuable insights into the potential consequences and learn about the importance of preserving access to affordable and safe supplements. Discover how you can contribute to protecting natural health products and ensuring their availability for all Canadians.

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