Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins is calling for the changes Bill C-47 made to the natural health product legislation be reversed.  

Under Bill C-47, natural health products follow the same regulatory approval process, including the cost, of therapeutic drugs.   

In December, Calkins introduced Bill C-368, An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (natural health products). The proposed legislation seeks to repeal changes made to the act while maintaining the distinction between a natural health product and a therapeutic product.  

“What it comes down to is having that choice,” Calkins said. “These are very common-sense things that we all take to alleviate, and take control of our own health, and of our own bodies.”  

He explained that health product manufacturers must acquire a natural health product number in order to sell products in Canada.  

“Rules already exist to make sure that what's on the product label is what's inside the bottle. It's already well regulated,” Calkins said. “If you have to pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars to get something approved the same way you do a pharmaceutical drug in this country, then you're basically going to shut down and wipe out large portions of our business.”  

Calkins is concerned that Bill C-47 will drive the natural health business out of the country.  

"The cost will become so prohibitive to bring a product to market that nobody will do it, and it will actually drive the business out of Canada. We are already so well regulated, it will stifle product development coming to the marketplace,” he said.   

Under Bill C-47, Lacombe business owner of nearly seven years, Len Boser is restricted to what he can sell, and limited to how he can help his customers.   

“The other thing is cost factors because of all the high fees that the manufacturers are going to be charged. By doing that, you have to raise the prices on the product,” Boser said. “Customers are concerned. These are products that they depend on.”  

He added, “We want to fight back, and protect our decision to heal our body the way we want.”