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by Zoltan Rona, MD- Toronto, Ontario, Canada

"The Federal Advisory Panel has just completed the second meeting in Ottawa, and I feel that if the momentum and direction can be maintained, we have every reason to believe that by this time next year, we in Canada may well have one of the world's most progressive regulatory schemes."
Del Anderson, member, Federal Health Minister appointed "Advisory Panel on Herbal Remedies" (15/9/97)


The "moratorium" on herbal remedies which delayed the implementation of site licensing fees and other oppressive actions by the Canadian Health Protection Branch (HPB) against the public's access to herbs and other nutritional supplements is a hoax. The so-called "Advisory Panel on Herbal Remedies" was created to deflect media criticism of a growing list of HPB abuses that included the Hepatitis C and HIV contamination of transfused blood scandal, the failure to remove toxic drugs like nifedipine from the market despite evidence of deaths, the mercury amalgam safety scandal and many others (see my well-circulated article, "Top Ten Reasons to Ban the HPB" on the Internet ( History shows that herbal advisory panels, and there have been at least two in the past decade in Canada, have never been taken seriously by the HPB and that none of the recommendations made to such panels by herbalists and other health professionals has ever been implemented.

While Del Anderson, one of the members of this phony Advisory Panel, was singing the praises of a new attitude of conciliation and cooperation within the HPB favouring herbs, on September 10, 1997, 12 armed HPB and RCMP members, wearing bullet proof vests, raided the warehouse of Upper 49th Distributors, the B.C. branch of a small national sports nutrition import distributor/wholesaler. Armed RCMP officers ran in, pointed a gun at the manager, began interrogation and incarcerated the manager and three other employees of the company, all of whom were detained at a local RCMP station and formally charged with violations of the Food and Drug Act and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.


All company stock, computer hardware, invoices, customer lists, Cory Holly's research material and library were confiscated. Everything involved in the operation of the company was removed by the RCMP/HPB thugs. The list of charges against Holly and others included conspiracy, fraud, trafficking in drugs and smuggling. Simultaneous raids were executed by a total of 50 RCMP and HPB officials at the head office of Upper 49th Imports in Winnipeg and their affiliates in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto. HPB flew out the RCMP raiders from Winnipeg to Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver and put them up for a week in hotels before the raid at taxpayers' expense. This small business, for all intents and purposes, has been temporarily immobilized and at least 30 employees were traumatized and personally affected. While Del Anderson denies HPB involvement in this raid, legal documents and the hotel bills clearly indicate otherwise.

The complaint to HPB about Upper 49th's products originated from a competitor and not from consumer complaints. According to Cory Holly, well known and respected author and consultant for Upper 49th Distributors, everything sold by this company is classified as a food with approved bilingual labels. All the items sold by Upper 49th are available without prescription at any health food store in the U.S.A. and many health food stores and gyms in Canada. In fact, Health Canada, acting on the original competitor complaint, inspected and approved all of Upper 49th's product inventory about a month prior to the raid. In other words, the HPB inspectors came, inspected and left without any concerns about Upper 49th in August, 1997.


The Advisory Panel on Herbal Remedies is top heavy with appointed (unelected) prominent Canadian Coalition for Health Freedom (CCHF) spokespersons like Chanchal Cabrera, Donna Herringer (president of the Canadian Health Food Association) and Dr. William LaValley, former president of the Canadian Complementary Medical Association.

These "experts" all seem to be willing to play ball with the HPB as well as prominent nutraceutical manufacturers. None have ever gone on record to oppose the banning of melatonin, DHEA, natural progesterone cream, boron, amino acids or any other products of vital health benefit to Canadian consumers.

Other members of the Advisory Panel, like pharmacist Meera Thadani, as evidenced by recent hostile letters to Alive magazine, are on record as being strongly critical of the natural health product industry and biased in favor of HPB policies. Not a single member of the Advisory Panel is a member of Freedom of Choice in Health Care or other groups strongly opposed to the creation of a 3rd category of nutraceuticals (quasi food supplements) advocated so enthusiastically by the Coalition.

On a personal note, I have been besieged by hundreds of individuals who had been under the impression that I had been silenced by forces beyond my control. After all, I was no longer publishing articles in industry journals like Natural Health Products Report. The rumour that several prominent members of this Advisory Panel have made a point of attacking me in writing or threatening to withdraw their advertising dollars from health journals publishing my articles is indeed true. This happened shortly after my picture appeared on the front cover of Country Health a few months ago. Both Country Health and Alive magazines were threatened by certain Coalition/Advisory Panel members with loss of advertising revenue as a direct result of my articles.

Dr. William LaValley also showed his true colours by angrily phoning me two months ago threatening to withdraw the support of "the people who would be most able to help you" should I ever find myself in the same situation as Dr. Jozef Krop, a medical doctor currently being disciplined by the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons and partially financed by Coalition members. Disagreement with or criticism of the Coalition agenda, especially by me, it seems, is verboten. Why should I or anyone else trust a group that attempts to silence its critics with threats of harm?


As the mumbling Mounties and the bumbling HPB bureaucrats were thrashing Upper 49th Distributors for dispensing harmless food supplements, thousands of Canadians' lives were in jeopardy from HPB legalized killers like nifedipine, cigarettes, alcohol, terfenadine (Seldane), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and countless others that have never been confiscated in a raid by the RCMP.

The use of guns, physical force, verbal threats and other forms of intimidation to destroy individuals and businesses are the characteristics of a terrorist. So is the uneven application of laws suppressing natural remedies in the pretence of "protecting the public". Terrorists should not be supported. Further, history has repeatedly demonstrated that negotiating with terrorists leads to disaster. What works best is mutiny and loud opposition until the terrorist is rendered impotent. Fooling around with wishy washy 3rd category solutions and phony herbal advisory panels is not only a waste of taxpayer money but a cruel hoax perpetrated on the general public looking for real leadership in saving access to herbs and other natural therapies.

How can this mutiny on the mounties be brought about successfully? Use your voices, pens, paper, fax machines and e-mail to protest the phony work of the Advisory Panel on Herbal Remedies to your local federal member of Parliament and the Federal Minister of Health. Protest the raids on natural health product distributors. Who the hell do they think they're fooling? Consider supporting the growing number of lawsuits being launched against the HPB by those businesses that have been extinguished unjustly by these terrorists. For more information on what you can do to get involved in a meaningful way, contact: Debbie Anderson and Randy Gomm Citizens Voice For Health Rights 9110A Young Rd., S., Suite 129 Chilliwack, B.C. V2P 4R5 604-793-9087; fax: 604-793-9017;

Marilyn Nelson and Bruce Johnson Freedom of Choice in Health Care 5863 Leslie St., Suite 711 Willowdale, Ont. M2H 1J8 416-282-1016; fax:416-282-2434

Victoria Hogan at 604-987-8296;

Zoltan P. Rona, M.D., has been a practicing physician for eighteen years and is a past president of the Canadian Holistic Medical Association. He is the author of the bestselling books "The Joy of Health" and "Return to the Joy of Health", as well as co-author of "The Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook" and has had over 500 published articles in periodicals and health magazines. More of his articles are available at his website


Advisory Panel on Herbal Remedies. Health Action, September, 1997 (available from Health Action Network Society, #202 - 5262 Rumble St., Burnaby, B.C., V5J 2B6; 1-888-432-4267).

Anderson, Del. Personal communication. September 15, 1997.

Holly, Cory. Personal correspondence from Upper 49th Distributors (B.C.); fax: 604-444-5175.

Thadani, Meera. Correspondence to Alive magazine and Alive magazine Advisor. May, 1997.

416-534-8880; FAX:416-534-6723


by Zoltan Rona, MD- Toronto, Ontario, Canada

"There is no question that what is going on at the HPB does not really protect citizens. The provisions that have just come into place are merely paper processes. For example, no one at HPB is actually analyzing the product in bottles so that as a citizen you are assured that what is on the label is in the bottle. This is what should be done, but instead they're putting in place paper processes, such as labeling requirements and higher fees, that will push the small people out of the marketplace and leave it open for the large pharmaceutical firms to come in and try to tell us that their products are now safer. They will not be any safer because there is no real scrutiny of the quality and information about the products."
Dr. Michele Brill-Edwards (ex-HPB official)

The recent disappearance of DHEA, kava kava, chromium picolinate and melatonin from health food store shelves represents only the tip of the iceberg of natural products zapped by the Health Protection Branch (HPB) of Health Canada, a misnomer if there ever was one. With few exceptions, these "banned" natural remedies are safer than coffee, cola drinks and hospital food. They are all available in technologically advanced countries like the USA, Great Britain and Japan without a prescription. Their one common denominator, aside from the fact that each and every one of them is found in varying degrees in the human body, is that they represent competition to prescription and over the counter (OTC) drugs. How is this true?

The HPB applies very different standards to drugs than it does to natural food supplements. Drug manufacturers uniformly make claims for their products yet the HPB takes no action whatsoever. The HPB turns a blind eye when the pharmaceutical industry makes unsubstantiated claims for drugs like the calcium channel blockers. On the other hand, when a natural supplement manufacturer puts a product on the market and makes no claims for medical uses but a magazine article claims health benefits for the same supplement, the HPB suddenly classifies the product as a drug, enforces drug (DIN) standards without warning and leaves the public no safe drug alternative. Legal opinion has it that this is a flagrant violation of the Food & Drug Act in favour of the pharmaceutical interests, hospitals, medical doctors, and the medical industry. A lawsuit launched by Freedom of Choice in Health care and others will likely prove this in court.

"My experience is that the lobby for the pharmaceuticals in Canada is very vigorous and effective, especially since it has been headed up by a former Liberal cabinet minister. In fact, Diane Marlowe, the Health Minister from 1993 to 1996, was the campaign chairwoman for Judy Erola during the Trudeau era, when she ran as an MP. Judy Erola eventually was appointed Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs and, upon leaving this post, became the President of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Canada (PMAC) and spearheaded the 20-year patent law. The 20-year patent law is the result of this type of cozy relationship between government agencies and pharmaceuticals. The lifelong 'beds of clover' offered by pharmaceuticals to government officials for multi-million-dollar favours is a lot more enticing than 'serving the public good.' The end result is that drug costs are now the fastest-growing expense in medical services."
Dr. Michele Brill-Edwards (ex-HPB official)


5-hydroxy-tryptophan   none    USA, UK, Japan      anti-depressants,
                                                   anti-anxiety drugs
Arginine               none    USA, UK, Japan      diet drugs, performance
                                                   enhancing steroids
Ascorbyl palmitate     none    USA, UK, Japan      preservatives
Aspartates             none    USA, UK, Japan      citric acid/citrates
Boron                  none    USA, UK, Japan      osteoporosis & arthritis
                                                   drugs, estrogens
Chaparral          rare liver  USA, UK, Japan      chemotherapy drugs,
Chromium picolinate    none    USA, UK, Japan      diet drugs, diabetes &
                                                   lipid lowering drugs
Carnitine              none    USA, UK, Japan      heart drugs, diet
                                                   drugs, lipid lowering
Comfrey            rare liver  USA, UK, Japan      tonics, osteoporosis
                                                   drugs, analgesics
DHEA                   none    USA, UK, Japan      allergy, cancer &
                                                   immune system drugs
Dimethylglycine (DMG)  none    USA, UK, Japan      performance enhancing
D,L-Phenylalanine      none    USA, UK, Japan      analgesics,
Fish oils (MaxEPA)     none    USA, UK, Japan      heart drugs, aspirin
Horsetail              none    USA, UK, Japan      osteoporosis &
                                                   arthritis drugs
Gamma Amino Butyric
Acid (GABA)         occasional CNS USA, UK, Japan  anti-anxiety drugs, 
Glutamine              none    USA, UK, Japan      alcohol addiction drugs
Germanium          rare kidney USA, UK, Japan      allergy, cancer &
                                                   immune system drugs
Gotu kola              none    USA, UK, Japan      circulation drugs,
                                                   scleroderma drugs
Lysine                 none    USA, UK, Japan      anti-viral, especially
                                                   herpes drugs
Kava kava              none    USA, UK, Japan      anti-anxiety drugs
Lily of the valley  rare heart USA, UK, Japan      heart and circulation
Melatonin              none    USA, UK, Japan      hypnotics,
                                                   anti-depressants, birth
                                                   control pills
Octacosanol            none    USA, UK, Japan      performance enhancing
Orotates               none    USA, UK, Japan      performance enhancing
                                                   steroids, chemotherapy
Ornithine              none    USA, UK, Japan      diet drugs, performance
                                                   enhancing steroids
(dexpanthenol)         none    USA, UK, Japan      heart drugs, lipid
                                                   lowering drugs
Phenylalanine          none    USA, UK, Japan      aspartame,
                                                   anti-depressants, diet
Picolinates            none    USA, UK, Japan      drugs too numerous to
Progesterone cream     none    USA, UK, Japan      hormone replacement
Proline                none    USA, UK, Japan      heart disease drugs
Salmon oil             none    USA, UK, Japan      anti-inflammatory
                                                   drugs, heart drugs
Selenomethionine       none    USA, UK, Japan      heart drugs, cancer
                                                   chemotherapy drugs
Squalene               none    USA, UK, Japan      anti-inflammatory
                                                   drugs, heart drugs
Stevia                 none    USA, UK, Japan      aspartame, saccharine,
Taheebo (Pau D'arco)   none    USA, UK, Japan      cancer chemotherapy
                                                   drugs, antifungal drugs
Thioctic acid 
(lipoic acid)          none    USA, UK, Japan      drugs too numerous
                                                   to list
Tryptophan             none  prescription only     anti-depressants,
                                                   hypnotics, anti-anxiety
Tyrosine               none    USA, UK, Japan      anti-depressants, diet
Vanadyl sulfate        none    USA, UK, Japan      anti-diabetes drugs,
Yohimbine         rare heart prescription only     diet drugs, male potency
Zinc picolinate        none    USA, UK, Japan      anti-cataract drugs

"I think that it is fairly obvious now that the HPB is acting in the best interests of the pharmaceuticals, not the Canadian people. A glaring example is the contamination of the Canadian blood supply by hepatitis C as well as AIDS, while the HPB did not enforce its legislated power to inspect, regulate, and test blood supplies during the 1980's and [does not] even now. This was done to protect political interests and the profits of the pharmaceuticals. Another example is the negligence regarding the toxicity of mercury amalgam fillings and many of the new drugs coming on the market."
Dr. Michele Brill-Edwards (ex-HPB official)

The recent banning of natural progesterone cream is a good example of the blatant bias of the HPB against the natural health product industry. Progesterone is a hormone present in the human body in both males and females. It is not a drug but a natural substance which cannot be patented unless it is somehow chemically adulterated. The progesterone found in most creams used for reversing osteoporosis and PMS symptoms, relieving hot flashes and the other symptoms of menopause is an unadulterated form of the hormone which is derived from yams. Pharmaceutical or prescription progesterone (e.g. Prometrium® or Provera®) is a synthetically altered hormone which can damage the liver and is a drug with numerous side effects. The two substances are not identical, a fact which is clearly documented in hundreds of published scientific studies.

"We have found that if a drug can be found to do the job of medical healing, a nutrient can be found to do the same job. When we understand how a drug works, we can imitate its action with one of the nutrients."
Pfeiffer's Law (from The Healing Nutrients Within by Dr. Eric Braverman)

Canadian women have been using natural progesterone cream for over 5 years. Why is the HPB only now awakening to the fact that thousands of Canadian women are using natural progesterone cream? It's simple. Natural progesterone cream is safe, effective and very popular with women who would rather avoid the high cancer risk with conventional hormone replacement therapy. It's competition, so the HPB robots react to eliminate it.

Like the bans on melatonin and DHEA, the ban on progesterone cream is illogical, unnecessary and a potential threat to the health of women who have been safely using the product for many years as an alternative to the more toxic prescription drugs. Melatonin, DHEA and progesterone cream are all available in the USA at health food stores without a prescription. To date, there is no evidence whatsoever of toxicity. It's time we demanded that the government conduct an investigation into how the HPB operates. Nothing else including "negotiations" will ever make them change.

Zoltan P. Rona, M.D., has been a practicing physician for eighteen years and is a past president of the Canadian Holistic Medical Association. He is the author of the bestselling books "The Joy of Health" and "Return to the Joy of Health", as well as co-author of "The Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook" and has had over 500 published articles in periodicals and health magazines. More of his articles are available at his website


Braverman, Eric with Carl C. Pfeiffer, M.D., Ph.D., The Healing Nutrients Within, Facts, Findings and New Research on Amino Acids, Keats Publishing Inc., New Canaan, Connecticut, 1987.

Charron, Jean-Marc. Regional Bulletin on DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). Health Canada HPB, Dec. 19, 1996.

Demarco, Carolyn. Take Charge of Your Body. Winlaw, British Columbia: The Well Women Press, 1994.

Dragsted, L.O., et al., Pharmacology and Toxicology, 72 Suppl. 1:116-35; 1993.

Duggan, Joseph. A Government Agency Working for the Pharmaceutical Industry? An Interview with Dr. Michele Brill-Edwards, Shared Vision, June, 1997.

Gaby, Alan R. Dehydroepiandrosterone: Biological Effects and Clinical Significance. Alternative Medicine Review; Volume 1, number 2, July 1996; pp.60-69.

Haimov, Iris; Lavie, Peretz; Laudon, Moshe; Herer, Paula; Vigder, C., and Zisapel, Nava. Melatonin Replacement Therapy of Elderly Insomniacs, Sleep, 1995;18(7):598-603.

HPB. Status Manual on computer disk. 1992. Available from the Health Protection Branch, 2301 Midland Ave., Scarborough, Ont. M1P 4R7.

Kamen, Betty. Hormone Replacement Therapy, Yes or No? Novato, CA: Nutrition Encounter, Inc.,1993.

Lehmann, E.,Kinzler, E Friedemann, J. 1996. Efficacy of a special kava extract (Pipermethysticum) in patients with states of anxiety, tension and excitedness of non-mental origin -- A double-blind placebo-controlled study of four weeks treatment. Phytomedicine 3: 113-119.

Lee, John. Natural Progesterone: The Multiple Roles of a Remarkable Hormone. Sebastopol, CA: BLL Publishing, 1993.

Norden, Michael J. Beyond Prozac. New York:Harper Collins, 1995.

Packer, Lester, Ph.D., et al. Alpha-Lipoic Acid As A Biological Antioxidant, Free Radical Biology and Medicine 19:227-25O, 1995.

Passwater Richard A., Ph.D. Lipoic Acid: The Metabolic Antioxidant. New Canaan, Conn. Keats Publishing, Inc., 1995 pp. 7-8.

Reiter, Russel J. and Robinson, Jo. Melatonin, Your Body's Natural Wonder Drug. New York:Bantam Books, 1995.

Rinzler, Carol Ann. Estrogen and Breast Cancer. New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1993.

Schwartz AG; Whitcomb JM; Nyce JW; Lewbart ML; Pashko LL. Dehydroepiandrosterone and structural analogs: a new class of cancer chemopreventive agents. Adv Cancer Res 1988;51:391-424.

Schwartz AG; Pashko LL. Cancer chemoprevention with the adrenocortical steroid dehydroepiandrosterone and structural analogs. J Cell Biochem Suppl 1993;17G:73-9.





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