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Canada gets it right

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on October 6, 2009

Firms that sell “natural” health products are being asked to provide proof their crap works (it doesn’t most of the time) and get this: while these firms do not oppose being regulated they think that being asked to show their claims are correct is too much. Come again?

Firms that make and sell natural health products are not opposed to being regulated. In fact, they welcome the Health Canada stamp of approval, said Carter. However, he said the “pendulum has swung too far” in terms of proving that a drug works.

Oh I get it, they want the “stamp of approval” but they don’t want to do any work for it. They do know that it is not a literal postage stamp right?

The licensing has been underway since January 2004, when Health Canada announced it would regulate natural health products. As of April 2010, all natural health products will need an NPN, natural product number, to be sold.

However, the licensing process has become bogged down, and Carter said it’s partly because Health Canada has set the bar too high.

I guess not taking their word for it qualifies as setting the bar too high in woo woo land. “Trust us this stuff works”. Oh sure, here’s your stamp; you’ve been approved. Yeah right! They’ve had 6 years to get their shit together and now that the deadline is approaching they’ve got nothing to show for it. Do you know how many double blind studies one can conduct in 6 years? Enough to prove your claims are true, that’s for sure!

Carter said part of the problem was something he called “pharmaceutical creep,” where the same stringent standards that are applied to pharmaceutical products are applied to natural health products.

There comes the special pleading: the rules as they apply to everybody else should not apply to me!

Natural health producers today are being asked to supply double-blind studies and human clinical trials to back claims made on the labels, even when safety has been established, he said. It’s a very expensive requirement for small- to medium-sized firms.

Oh the Red Herring! You have to prove your crap works ON TOP of proving it is safe dumbo! Do they really think people are that stupid not to see through this farce of an argument?

He expects herbal and homeopathic medicines to be the most affected and says it’s “crazy” for Health Canada to apply the same standards to both pharmaceuticals and natural health products.

Oh crazy isn’t it? These geniuses want to keep calling their crap “medicine” but they do not want the same stringent standards that are applied to all other medicines to apply. Bit hypocritical no? Hey I have an idea, call your stuff flavored water or tea, stop making claims of it curing this and curing that and guess what: you don’t have to do any double blind studies in that case. Problem solved for both you and us (the rationalists that is).

Pharmacists are talking crazy too (at least the ones quoted in the article):

“Pharmaceutical drugs are far more potent and just a slight deviation in dosage can be dangerous,” said Staples, whose Moncton pharmacy Staples Drugs, has sold both types of drugs for 40 years.

“A doctor can prescribe the arthritis drug Celebrex for you, but it can also cause a heart attack,” he said as an example. “With homeopathic drugs, you can take 10 times the dosage and there’s no problem.”

Umhh, Staples? That’s because homeopathic potions are water and don’t do anything. That’s the way it works you see, homeopathic potions = No effect whatsoever! Either way positive or negative. So why do you want to keep selling them to people? A bit unethical no?

Health Canada is not allowing any “may” claims. For instance, a label cannot say the product “may” do something. In Health Canada’s eyes, it either has an effect or not.

Good for them. “My magical potion may help cancer” is not such an innocent statement after all. People can die because of it; peoples’ lifelong savings may be wiped out because of it; peoples’ precious little time left can be wasted because of it. Canada gets it right. Woo woos have to be held accountable for their words and claims!