Woodford File: On BREXIT, CETA, and Natural Health Product Regulations

After toiling in the trenches of editorial prepress for the past several weeks, and previewing the articles that will run in our November issue, I was reminded how fortunate we are to have such great writers. Every month, these researchers and health professionals bring the latest news on the politics of health, the best techniques for disease prevention, and the most valuable nutrients for longevity and wellness. This is an empowering blend of information that you just can’t find anywhere else, and we are proud to be the only publication in Canada to provide it. We hope to continue offering it to you in a free magazine format distributed to hundreds of outlets across Ontario, however, we are facing the same challenges as the rest of the publishing industry and so are looking at new publishing models that will help us to cut costs and continue to serve you well. We will keep you posted as things unfold.

Meantime, amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life, I haven’t paid much attention to global events like BREXIT, CETA, or even the U.S. election. To me they were just far-off events that affected other people. Then along came Helke Ferrie’s brilliant feature in this issue, which made me realize that those events will impact us on a more personal level than we think. Entitled BREXIT AND CETA – The Real Story Behind the Drama, Helke’s article explores the link between Health Canada’s proposal to change the regulations governing natural health products – and the signing of the Canada-EU free trade agreement. It seems that Health Canada wants to harmonize Canadian regulation of natural health products with the absurdly restrictive regulations currently in place in the EU.  Fortunately, a certain politician named Paul Magnette, Minister-President of the Wallonia region of Belgium, stepped up and threw a monkey wrench into things. So even though our Prime Minister has now signed CETA, it is by no means a done deal.

Over the past few weeks, our government’s proposed changes to natural health product (NHP) regulations have met with tremendous resistance, some of which is being spearheaded by the Canadian Health Food Association, an organization which hosted a busy booth at Whole Life Expo where many went to sign the petition against the proposed regulations. (See chfa.ca)

The Expo, by the way, was another terrific success thanks to the participation of 80 speakers, hundreds of exhibitors, and thousands of attendees. In my view, this type of event is more vital than ever as people search enthusiastically for ways to get stronger and healthier. The Whole Life Expo brought together like minded souls from across the country who are passionate about healing the body and mind with ancient practices and new technologies. Indeed, it seems that the public’s appetite for information on age-old folklore medicines as well as state-of-the-art healing technologies is growing, and we are happy to satisfy it.

Speaking of nourishment, this month we bring heat to northern kitchens with a feature on Indian homecooking by food writer Linda Gabris. Using budget-friendly vegetarian beans and pulses blended with exotic medicinal herbs and spices, Linda has created a menu of recipes that will warm your belly while driving out viruses and bacteria. This is the down-home approach to keeping yourself warm and healthy in winter.

According to internationally renowned speaker and author, Kaypacha, this is a critical time in the world.  As global powers battle for control of our food, water, and health care, it is vital that we exercise our freedom of choice while we still have it – freedom to choose organic and GMO-free food over processed Frankenfood, natural and preventive medicines over drug-based disease management, and dominion over our natural resources. “We’re talking about humanity coming into alignment with nature and natural law if it is to survive,” says Kaypacha, so it’s time for each of us, as individuals, to strengthen our alignment with nature, and then express that to a world desperately in need of models and examples of healthy living. Vitality is here to help.

Julia Woodford, Editor

Julia Woodford founded Vitality Magazine in 1989, and has been its Editor-in-Chief for the past 30 years. Prior to a career in publishing, her studies included Political Economics at York University, Journalism at Ryerson University, and Psychology, PhysEd, and Anthropology at University of Toronto. She remains a lifelong student of herbalism, nutritional medicine, and the healing arts to this day. You can read her columns on the Vitality website. She is also the Show Manager for Whole Life Expo, Canada’s largest showcase of natural health and green living. Learn more at the Expo website In 2018 she received a “Hall of Fame” award from National Nutrition. In 2019, she was nominated for a “Person of the Year” award by National Nutrition.

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