Dear Minister Aglukkaq,
This statutory definition appears to give Health Canada the power to declare whatever it wishes to be a “drug”. And that is exactly its flaw. It is so vague as to be unenforceable in any court of law. This use-based definition violates the “void for vagueness” and “over breath” doctrines under section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
It doesn’t stop there. Every regulation that is derived from this flawed definition of “drug” is necessarily also unenforceable in any court of law. In other words, all of the NHP Regulations which treat dietary supplements as if they were “drugs” are legally null and void, including the NPN product licensing scheme.
Minister Aglukkaq, you have the opportunity to return Health Canada to fulfilling its proper legal mandate. A minor amendment to the Food and Drugs Act would be a major step in this regard. Simply insert “other than food, food derivatives, and dietary supplements” into the statutory definition of “drug”, as indicated in the example below:
“Drug” includes any substance or mixture of substances – other than food, food derivatives and dietary supplements – manufactured, sold or represented for use in
(a) The diagnosis, treatment, mitigation or prevention of a disease, disorder or abnormal physical state, or its symptoms, in human beings or animals.
(b) Restoring, correcting or modifying organic functions in human beings or animals, or
(c) Disinfection in premises in which food is manufactured, prepared or kept.
Dietary Supplement Protective Union
1 Yonge St., (Ste. 1801), Toronto, ON M1E 5W7