The new legislation, called Bill C-51, which passed its first reading in Canada's House of Commons this week, seeks to impose similar levels of controls on natural health products that exist for pharmaceutical drugs.
Both drugs and vitamins will be classified as 'therapeutic products', and will be subject to similar controls on safety. In the past, the vitamin and supplement industry had successfully argued that its products were a food.
The Bill also introduces a new expression - 'a controlled activity' - which suggests that naturopaths and homeopaths will need a special licence before they can issue natural health products.
Anybody in breach of the new controls could be imprisoned for up to two years or fined up to $5m, which is 1000 times higher than current fines.
(Source: NHPPA, Canada).