Sep 20 2013

Health Canada Misses the Point

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12 responses so far

12 Responses to “Health Canada Misses the Point”

  1. xeison 20 Sep 2013 at 8:32 am

    I think you are being generous concentrating on the effectiveness of nosodes, if you take what is at best a placebo as a vaccine then it is not safe. As for Health Canada

    “Health Canada respects diversity and recognizes that a growing number of Canadians choose natural health products to maintain and improve their health. On their behalf, we will continue to ensure that a wide range of safe high-quality products are available.”

    I would suggest (ignoring the naturalistic fallacy & argument from popularity) that Health Canada have doubled down claiming they are both “high-quality” and more importantly (from a litigation perspective) “safe”.

    Just silly, imo.

  2. dohashion 20 Sep 2013 at 9:09 am

    Bad Science Watch ( has been running a Stop Nosodes campaign for a while now ( The campaign page has a nice rundown of the situation.

    One thing I have not seen mentioned yet is that Health Canada does have a efficacy requirement for their “natural/traditional/alternative” products, but it is complete nonsense.

    Basically if you can show “historical usage”, then it can be approved.

    Reading the actual documents it is clear that they want to have a sliding scale of evidence and health claims, stronger evidence allows for stronger claims. However I suspect they were ignorant to the fact that believers would completely ignore the approved claims and simply state their beliefs, using Health Canada’s approval as a stamp of legitimacy.

  3. pdeboeron 20 Sep 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Gibson refers to the notice that Canadian companies must place on nosode products to say they are not a replacement for vaccines. Example, the product INFLUENZINUM:

    Under important information.

    “This product is not designed as a replacement for a flu vaccination. If you have been diagnosed or believe you are at high risk for complications due to influenza, consult your health professional for appropriate treatment.”

    Doing a general Google search will hit on many claims that INFLUENZINUM can prevent the flu and is an alternative to flu shots.

    The mistake would be easy to make by the uninformed.

    Not only is our government endorsing the efficacy of the flu treatment claims of this particular product, but it is approving the sale of a product that obviously thrives on purchases made with the purpose of immunization.

  4. Dmitrion 20 Sep 2013 at 5:33 pm

    I agree with xeis. Saying nosode is safe is like saying motorcycle helmet made of grass and leaves is safe. Perhaps Canadian government will start endorsing such “natural” and “alternative” safety devices.

  5. ConspicuousCarlon 20 Sep 2013 at 5:55 pm

    When the government arrests bank robbers, where is their respect for the diversity of people who choose to improve their wealth via alternatives to legally-approved income sources? Bigots!

  6. jesse.huebschon 20 Sep 2013 at 10:18 pm

    The current Canadian government is extremely anti science, to the point of deliberately destroying the means of collecting data (the long form census) just to spite their political foes. Why is this a surprise to anyone? They had a creationist as the science minister for several years.
    Of course the only reason they are in power is that their political opponents are more concerned with fighting each other than to actually do something good for the country, but that is a rant for another day.

  7. ccbowerson 21 Sep 2013 at 10:37 am

    “Authorizing homeopathic remedies, including nosodes, for use of traditional homeopathic care is a very different thing from authorizing them as alternatives to vaccines.”

    OK, Adam Gibson, let’s follow the logic. Licensing a natural product means that a product has “been assessed by Health Canada and found to be safe, effective and of high quality.” So in licensing these products (which you term ‘authorizing’) you imply an endorsement of efficacy as indicated by Health Canada’s own website.

    Now you later clarified that they are not intended as an alternative to vaccines through labeling (which has been their intended use by people who use them, and is the very reason for their existence as a product), so what uses have they been licensed for? For which intended uses have they shown efficacy in order to get a product license?

    Of course, I don’t expect answers to those rethorical questions, because there are no reasonable answers. “For use in tranditional homeopathic care” is a meaningless phrase, and is not an acceptable answer for the intended use of a product, especially when the endorsement of efficacy is implied. The source of the “unfortunate misconception” is pretty clear, and it’s not because of people like Kunzler and Caplan.

  8. westcoastnerdon 21 Sep 2013 at 10:49 am

    I emailed Health Canada recently to question them on how they determine efficacy. Their response was basically that they use the provings sent to them from the companies that produce the “remedies”. I was understandably astounded by this so have just sent off an Access To Information Request in order to get copies of all the documents they used in their determination of the efficacy of the homeopathic vaccines for polio, whooping cough and measles. Can’t wait to see what comes up!!

  9. Surakyon 21 Sep 2013 at 11:15 am

    After arguing with natural health providers who truly believed the license meant their crap was safe and effective, and complaining to the government about various products… Only to be ignored by my government, I dug through health Canada ‘ s website.

    I think the links are already posted in another comment, but basically if you stop at the first page after reading what you want to believe is true (if you are a natural health nut) you will think the government supports your view.

    If you dig much deeper you will find exceptions all over the place, you’ll see that some products can be sold with a partial licence as if it was safe and effective when really the government has only acknowledged that papers have been filed. You’ll see that the government does no testing, accepts anecdotes and simple lists of ingredients and indications for use as if these are evidence.

    You will see that for Homeopathy in particular ‘proof’ consists of nothing more than a remedy being made from ingredients listed in the homeopath pharmacopoeias, including Hahnemann ‘s original work! No testing. No safety measured. No efficacy proven.

    And if you search the natural health product database, you’ll find it to be almost unuseable as if it was put on a 386 computer to intentionally make it slow and difficult.

    I wanted to scream all this after listening to the recent SGU episode, but figured someone else would have beat me to it.

    The government is just people. This part of our government is people who are believers or natural health business owners protecting their profits with intentionally misleading regulations. And it has coerced people into thinking a license legitimises a product, or at least gives businesses a legal excuse to operate.

    I’d like to know, and have been unable to find out using the googles… There were a couple class action lawsuits going on here in Canada against homeopathic remedy makers, for not listing the actual amount of active ingredients in the required way, by weight or volume. What happened to these lawsuits?

  10. Davdoodleson 23 Sep 2013 at 12:51 am

    Nosodes ARE an alternative to vaccinating.

    In the same way that not vaccinating is an alternative to vaccinating.

    So there!

  11. embeeteeon 23 Sep 2013 at 1:41 am

    FWIW (more, I hope, thank I fear Health Canada will think it is worth), I wrote my MP, the Minister of Health and the shadow ministers in the Liberal and NDP parties on this issue. Deeply embarrassing to me as a Canadian…though embarrassment is the least of the damage this ludicrous approach by Health Canada could create.

    I also wrote to the Dean of Medicine at U of T to protest the creation of a Centre of Complementary and Alternative Medicine; they are posting a Director position. This is in the same vein as the Minstry of Health, bending so far over backwards to be “inclusive” that you can hear the commitment to scientific standards and evidence-based medicine snap like a dry twig.

    The only way we’ll hold the line (or pull it back to where it should be) is by voicing our protests: Canadians must write to the institutions and people making these decisions.

  12. OlegShon 09 Oct 2013 at 11:32 am


    As Canadians we can start a petition against Nosodes:

    I think it’s the only way to push our government back on science-based tracks.

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