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Allergen and Gluten Labelling on Natural Health Products are Changing

What are Natural Health Products?

According to Health Canada, “Natural health products (NHPs) are naturally occurring substances that are used to restore or maintain good health. They are often made from plants, but can also be made from animals, microorganisms, and marine sources. They come in a wide variety of forms like tablets, capsules, tinctures, solutions, creams, ointments, and drops. Many everyday consumer products, like certain toothpaste, antiperspirants, shampoos, facial products, and mouthwashes are also classified as natural health products in Canada.”[1]

Natural health products often called “complementary” or “alternative” medicines, include:

 

Why Natural Health Products Matter to People with CD

Until July 2022, natural health products had no standards on how priority allergens, gluten or aspartame ingredients were to be identified on natural health products, leaving the celiac community open to serious adverse reactions to products meant to improve their health.

How is the CCA Involved?

From 2018 – 2021, CCA was one of the major stakeholders working with Health Canada to help advance the introduction of priority allergen labelling including gluten on natural health products. In September, 2021, the CCA, along with local chapters, submitted a formal submission to the federal government advocating for the protection of the gluten-free community’s health.

Click to read the CCA’s official submission

In July 2022, we are pleased to announce that these regulations have been approved by the federal government. Implementation will take up to six years for compliance, so we encourage our community to be diligent during this time. 

 

“This is a major milestone for people with celiac disease,” says Melissa Secord, National Executive Director of the CCA.  “Health Canada has shown its commitment to protect Canadian consumers with severe food reactions and make it a priority to protect their health, safety and increase accessibility. We also applaud their efforts to assist citizens who have visual impairments by standardizing text size and colour contrast on labels.” 

“We also want to thank the gluten-free community and local chapters who supported us in the public consultations by sending letters which helped these regulations come into force for the protection of our health.” 

 “We look forward to working with Health Canada, the Canadian Inspection Agency (CFIA) and gluten-free NHP product partners during the transition and ongoing monitoring to keep our community safe. “

 CCA will be participating in post-launch regulation meetings and stay tuned for updates and more useful tools to help you navigate your stores. 

  To read more about these changes, please visit Canada Gazette, Part 2, Volume 156, Number 14: Regulations Amending the Natural Health Products Regulations. 

What You Need to Know

What do these changes include? 

 

Product Facts Table 

 

Allergen and Gluten Labelling 

 

Modernized Contact Information

 

Digital Labelling

 

What is not covered? 

Certain exemptions are provided to accommodate products in very small packages, products that are relatively low-risk, products that are to be used within one day or less (as per the directions on the label), and products with package(s) that contain, at most, three dosage units. 

For more information from the CCA, please contact info@celiac.ca  

What else needs to be done?

How you can help!

 

References.

1 About Natural Health Products – Canada.ca

 

 

Learn More

Melissa Secord, CCA Executive Director, sits down to chat about changes to the Natural Health Product regulations and what it means for the gluten-free community with Matthew Bown, Associate Director of the Bureau of Policy, Risk Management and Stakeholder Engagement in the Natural and Non-Prescription Health Products Directorate from Health Canada.

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