Bill C-51 Credible Resource Library
This page contains links to credible resources about Bill C-51 and about the regulation of natural health products (NHPs) in Canada. It will be kept up-to-date until Bill C-51 is passed. It features links to:
- Ottawa Skeptics Articles about Bill C-51
- Source Documents on Bill C-51 and NHP Regulation
- Information about Bill C-51
- Background to NHP Regulation in Canada
- General Information about NHPs in Canada
- NHP Regulation Gudance Documents
- Organizations and Websites
Bill C-51 Takes an Election Break (14 Sep 08)
Bill C-51 and the Power of Inspectors (18 Aug 08)
StopC51 and Fuzzy Math (1 Aug 08)
TCM Community Sucked In by StopC51 Propaganda (20 Jul 08)
Bill C-51 on Summer Leave (13 Jul 08)
Outrageous Claims about Bill C-51 (14 Jun 08)
Natural Health Products (NHPs) and Bill C-51 (6 Jun 08)
Food and Drugs Act (Revised Statutes 1985)
The Food and Drugs Act is the legislation that covers the safety and quality of food, drugs (i.e., pharmaceuticals and NHPs), cosmetics and therapeutic devices (a.k.a. medical devices) by establishing provisions for such activities as manufacturing, labelling, distribution and sales.
Natural Health Product Regulations (5 Jun 03)
The NHP Regulations under the Food and Drugs Act specify the detailed provisions that cover product licensing, site licensing, manufacturing practices, clinical trials and record keeping related to NHPs.
Bill C-51: An Act to Amend the Food and Drugs Act (8 Apr 08)
In fulfillment of the Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan, Bill C-51 seeks to modernize the dated provisions of the Food and Drugs Act and other Acts concerning the safety and quality of food, drugs, NHPs, cosmetics and medical devices, especially by strengthening compliance and enforcement measures and empowering the government to order mandatory product recalls.
Health Canada’s Proposed Amendments to Bill C-51 (25 Jun 08)
Bill C-51 was introduced in Apr 08, but concerns were raised about the perceived impact of the Bill on NHP regulation. In response, Health Canada carried out consultations with NHP stakeholders and developed a number of amendments to the Bill to address their concerns. The amendments identify NHPs as a separate therapeutic product category in the Act; recognize traditional use evidence for making NHP health claims; restrict inspectors’ use of powers to a standard of reasonableness and cognizance of risk; and require the establishment of an NHP Expert Advisory Committee. All of these amendments are in line with the NHP Regulations and current practice.
Bill C-52: Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (8 Apr 08)
In fulfillment of the Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan, Bill C-52 seeks to modernize the dated provisions of the Hazardous Products Act and other Acts concerning the safety and quality of consumer products, especially by strengthening compliance and enforcement measures and empowering the government to order mandatory product recalls.
Bill C-51 and Natural Health Products in Canada
Bill C-51 and the Regulation of Natural Health Products – Fast Facts
Bill C-51 and Natural Health Products – The Facts (FAQ site)
These Health Canada websites provide quick background information, answer commonly asked questions and dispel currently circulating myths about Bill C-51.
A Triumph of Astroturf? How a consumer protection law may be defeated by a faux consumer watchdog campaign (28 May 08)
This eSkeptic article by Skeptic Magazine‘s Daniel Loxton exposes StopC51 as a supplement company that had a legal run-in with Health Canada and is now running a viral propaganda campaign against the Bill.
Status of the Bill (39th Parliament, 2nd Session, 16 Oct 07 to 7 Sep 08)
LEGISinfo is an information website run by the Library of Parliament that provides info on Government, Senate and Private Member Bills as they work their way through Parliament. Bills are sequentially numbered from the start of each Parliament. This Bill was C-51 in the 39th Parliament and will likely be renumbered when it is re-introduced in the 40th Parliament (unless there is an election). The above link shows when Bill C-51 was introduced and on which days it was debated in the House of Commons in the 39th Parliament.
House of Commons Debates at Second Reading (39th Parliament, 2nd Session, 16 Oct 07 to 7 Sep 08)
Bill C-51 was introduced in the House of Commons at First Reading on 8 Apr 08. The Bill was debated at Second Reading in the House in two sessions – 30 Apr/1 May 08 and 9/10 Jun 08. The Hansard Record of the debates are:
- 30 Apr 08 – 15:20 to 17:30
- 1 May 08 – 16:00 to 17:40
- 9 Jun 08 – 12:10 to 13:55
- 9 Jun 08 – 17:50 to 18:30
- 10 Jun 08 – 13:20 to 14:00
- 10 Jun 08 – 15:35 to 17:50
On 7 Sep 08, the 39th Parliament ended, which caused all bills that did not receive Royal Assent to die on the Order Paper, including Bill C-51. The Bill will, in all likelihood, be introduced in the next Parliament under a new number.
Background to NHP Regulation in Canada
In the 1990s, the NHP community pressed Health Canada and the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health to review the legal status of NHPs in Canada. The Committee’s report, Natural Health Products: A New Vision, established the strategic framework for developing NHP regulation in Canada. In 2004, the NHP Regulations came into force under the Food and Drugs Act. Since then, Health Canada has continued to review, consult, develop and revise the framework (see the Charting A Course report and the Blueprint for Renewal series of reports), eventually integrating it with other government initiatives into an overall plan, the Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan, to protect the safety of food, health and consumer products.
- Regulation of NHPs
Natural Health Products in Canada – A History (1997-2003)
This webpage provides a timeline of the development of NHP regulation in Canada from the public pressure of the 1990s to the tabling of Natural Health Products: A New Vision by the House Standing Committee on Health to the establishment of Health Canada’s NHP Directorate to the implementation of the NHP Regulations. The timeline provides evidence of the extensive public consultations undertaken by Health Canada with the NHP community in developing the NHP regulatory framework.
Natural Health Products: A New Vision (Nov 98)
This Report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health provided the foundation for the NHP regulatory strategy, which has been followed by Health Canada under both Liberal and Conservative governments since then.
Access to Therapeutic Products: The Regulatory Process in Canada (Jun 06)
This 36-page (580 KB) pdf overviews how drugs, NHPs and medical devices are licensed and sold in Canada.
Charting A Course: Refining Canada’s Approach to Regulating Natural Health Products (Feb 07)
Health Canada originally committed to conducting a review of the NHP Regulations subsequent to their implementation. As Health Canada had initiated the Blueprint for Renewal initiative to modernize the safety system for food, health and consumer products, the NHP Regulatory Review, described in this 47-page (230 KB) pdf, became part of that initiative.
- Blueprint for Renewal Reports
Blueprint for Renewal: Transforming Canada’s Approach to Regulating Health Products and Food (Oct 06)
This webpage explains the need, at the time, to modernize the regulatory system for health products, presents the Blueprint for Renewal as the vision paper for the change and invites public input to improve the plan.
Blueprint for Renewal: Regional Consultation Sessions – Summary Report (Nov 06)
In Oct 06, Health Canada conducted a series of regional consultations with stakeholders in Toronto, Halifax, Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Edmonton about the Blueprint for Renewal, which was disseminated in the link above as the basis of discussion. This 14-page (180 KB) pdf presents a summary of the results of those consultations.
Online Consultation: Blueprint for Renewing Canada’s Health Products and Food Regulatory System (Mar 07)
In Nov 06, Health Canada conducted on-line and in-person consultation with stakeholders about the Blueprint for Renewal, which was disseminated in the link above. This 42-page (360 KB) pdf presents a summary of the results of those consultations.
Blueprint for Renewal II: Modernizing Canada’s Regulatory System for Health Products and Food (Mar 07)
This 43-page (3 MB) pdf explains the rationale behind the provisions of Bill C-51.
- Food, Health and Consumer Product Safety
Strengthening and Modernizing Canada’s Safety System for Food, Health and Consumer Products (10 Jan 08)
This 21-page (2.6 MB) pdf is a discussion paper that outlines how the Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan will be applied to food, health and consumer products in Canada in order to provoke public consultation.
Report of the Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan Technical Consultation (24 Jan 08)
This 31-page (920 KB) pdf is a discussion paper that details some technical aspects of the Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan in order to engage key stakeholders.
Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan (Apr 08)
This 7-page (1.6 MB) pamphlet provides an overview of the Plan, which modernizes and strengthens the safety system for food, health and consumer products through preventing problems, targeting highest or unknown risks, and responding rapidly. Currently, the two key components of the Plan are Bills C-51 and C-52.
Advisories, Warnings and Recalls by Subject (past two years)
This Health Canada website advises on unsafe food, health and consumer products. For NHPs, see the website’s sections on Ayurvedic Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Dietary Supplements, Herbal Medicines, Impotence Products, Natural Health Products, Sexual Enhancement Products, Sleep Supplements, and Weight Loss Products.
Health Canada’s public health information website
Originated: 10 Dec 08 | Last updated: 15 Dec 08