Letter written to Ms. Penelope (Penny) Marrett, President and CEO of Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) in response to the current “Save our Natural Health Products: A CHFA Lobby Campaign”
Nov 16th, 2009 by Chuck Barton
I cannot help but think that this is a case of far too little far too late on the part of the CHFA. We, Seabuckthorn International, wrote to the CHFA several times requesting that your organization get intimately involved with Health Canada as they were moving towards these rather punitive policies. We were totally ignored. We finally let our membership in the CHFA lapse as sign of protest (albeit a rather weak sign of protest) because it appeared that the CHFA was blindly supporting the Health Canada’s initiatives. It is heartening to see that the well respected CHFA has finally ‘come to consciousness’ and is starting to recognize the very real threats posed by Bill C-6 and other incredibly punitive … draconian legislation … that are now about to become Canadian Law.
As an independent Canadian manufacturer of Natural Products, we have spent thousands and thousands of dollars complying with the NHP Directorate Policies and Regulations. Just trying to understand what is required was and is continuing to be a huge investment in time, energy and money that could have been better spent serving our customers across Canada. The current NHP regulations never mind the next set of legislative requirements on the horizon has spawned a whole industry of charlatans and dare I say ‘blood suckers’ of consultants that do almost nothing of value (to be fair there are some good folks as well). These incredible costs associated with complying with vague regulations mount up each year as we renew our site license on an annual basis. From year to year it is literally a ‘crap shoot’ and we never know whether or not our business will be shut down on some purely arbitrary ruling by the NHP even though we were in full compliance in the year previous. It is not a good situation.
Question: given we think these regulations are a good thing and protect our valued customers can we make it simpler to comply? Is that possible? Can the CHFA help to advocate for SIMPLICITY? If it is a foregone conclusion that we are going to live and work under these conditions can we at least have a chance to comply by making things simple? Is that a worthwhile objective?
How, I am wondering, can you, the CHFA, assist a company such as ours? Seabuckthorn International is a real company, employing real people, producing and manufacturing real ‘VALUE ADDED’ products, paying real Canadian dollars for real Canadian Taxes. GET REAL, CHFA. GET REAL! Please, come up with a real strategy that works.