Vancouver herbalists and naturalists are worried that a proposed legislation demanding more transparency and scrutiny of drugs and natural-health products will put them out of business.
Bill C-51 would amend the federal Food And Drugs Act by ensuring food, drug and health products don’t make false or exaggerated health claims and disclose all ingredients on labels.
It would give the government more power to recall products and impose stricter fines for violations.
Critics, including Vancouver nutritionist Joan Loy, argue that health products shouldn’t face the same stringent approval process as synthetic drugs.
Loy, who works at the Jericho Pharmacy and Health Food Store, said the bill would hurt the health food industry and impedes the customers’ right to choose.
“Half of (our) store (is) supplements and if some of them don’t get approved we can’t sell them ... I’d have nothing to work with.”
She said lumping natural medicine with pharmaceutical drugs suggests a lack of research and understanding.
“You drink too much carrot juice and the most it can cause is diarrhea,” she said. “This is Big Brother telling you (what to do).”