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Harper Government announces Canadians will have greater access to natural health products - New streamlined approach improves access and safety

February 2, 2013
For immediate release

Information: Regulating natural health products in Canada

MONTREAL - Canadians now have access to more than 60,000 licenced natural health products as a result of the Government of Canada's more efficient approach to authorizing these products, Parliamentary Secretary of Health, Dr. Colin Carrie announced today.

"The safety of Canadians is always our number one priority," said Parliamentary Secretary, Dr. Carrie at the Canadian Health Food Association Trade Show in Montreal. "This efficiency allows for industry innovation and growth, while still assuring consumer safety and access to a wide range of authorized natural health products."

In 2010, Health Canada brought in the Unprocessed Product License Applications Regulations (UPLAR) which allowed for the legal sale of lower-risk products while their applications were under review. UPLAR, brought in as a temporary measure, ends February 4, 2013. The Government has now introduced a new approach to natural health products that provides a stable, predictable regulatory environment for the efficient processing of applications.

The efficiencies gained under the new approach have set the foundation for how applications are now processed.

Within the new approach, the measures in place to protect consumer safety stay the same. Companies still need to provide sufficient evidence that their products are safe and effective, and products continue to be labelled with necessary warnings.

"Many Canadians use natural health products every day and want access to a wide range of safe and effective products," added Parliamentary Secretary, Dr. Carrie.

The new approach is in keeping with the authority of the Natural Health Products Regulations, which have been in place since 2004 and continue to set the standard and requirements for authorizing natural health products in Canada.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Federal Minister of Health, Dr. Colin Carrie, during the February 2, 2013, announcement in Montreal, accompanied by the President of the Canadian Health Food Association, Mrs Helen Sherrard.

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