An Open Letter To Tony Clement

WRITER ASKS FOR CLARIFICATION OF MISLEADING STATEMENTS MADE BY FORMER HEALTH MINISTER CLEMENT

Dear Mr. Clement,
During an all candidates’ meeting last month, I stated that in the entire 50 year history of
Canada’s health food stores, there have been zero deaths from consuming products purchased in
these stores. You took issue with this statement and stated publicly that you had to get involved
because of deaths from consuming “toad venom”.
Mr. Clement, toad venom has not now nor ever has been sold in Canadian health food stores. If
you have documented proof to the contrary, kindly provide it now. If not, then I respectfully
request that you issue a public apology for your misleading and defamatory statement.
It is estimated that over 10,000 people in Canada die annually from side reactions to their
prescription drugs, correctly prescribed and correctly administered. The Chief Economist of
each province’s Health Ministry can provide these figures.
You repeatedly stated during your campaign that Bill C-51 was vitally important to protect the
public from harm from natural health products. Yet C-51 does not apply to prescription drugs.
What is your Health Ministry doing to reduce deaths from pharmaceuticals?
Yours most sincerely,
D. W. Rowland
David W. Rowland
P.O. Box 8
Parry Sound, ON
P2A 2X2

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10 Comments

  1. penlan
    Posted November 26, 2008 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Clement is no longer Health Minister. He’s Industry.

  2. penlan
    Posted November 26, 2008 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Clement is no longer Health Minister. He’s Industry.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted November 26, 2008 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    The header clearly refers to him as the “former” health minister.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted November 26, 2008 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    The header clearly refers to him as the “former” health minister.

  5. Ex-drone
    Posted November 26, 2008 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Rowland writes:
    "Yet C-51 does not apply to prescription drugs."

    That's not true. Bill C-51 is a bill to amend the Food and Drugs Act. The amendments in the Bill address F&DA provisions in the areas of drugs, natural health products, food, cosmetics and medical devices.

    Mr. Rowlands writes:
    “What is your Health Ministry doing to reduce deaths from pharmaceuticals?”

    You might wish to address your letter to Leona Aglukkaq, the actual Health Minister.

    By the way, the answer to your question is that Bill C-51 is introducing a life-cycle approach to the licensing of pharmaceuticals in order to monitor their safety performance over their lifespan, not just at introduction. The Bill also implements mandatory reporting by health care institutions of adverse drug reactions.

  6. Ex-drone
    Posted November 26, 2008 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Rowland writes:
    "Yet C-51 does not apply to prescription drugs."

    That's not true. Bill C-51 is a bill to amend the Food and Drugs Act. The amendments in the Bill address F&DA provisions in the areas of drugs, natural health products, food, cosmetics and medical devices.

    Mr. Rowlands writes:
    “What is your Health Ministry doing to reduce deaths from pharmaceuticals?”

    You might wish to address your letter to Leona Aglukkaq, the actual Health Minister.

    By the way, the answer to your question is that Bill C-51 is introducing a life-cycle approach to the licensing of pharmaceuticals in order to monitor their safety performance over their lifespan, not just at introduction. The Bill also implements mandatory reporting by health care institutions of adverse drug reactions.

  7. Ex-drone
    Posted November 26, 2008 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Sorry. I was interrupted before I could finish.

    Mr. Rowland writes:
    “there have been zero deaths from consuming products purchased in these stores”

    Really? I wouldn’t be so sure. You might want to check the website What’s the Harm? under its Medical category. You might also want to check Health Canada’s list of Advisories, Warnings and Recalls by Subject under the categories of Ayurvedic Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Dietary Supplements, Herbal Medicines, Impotence Products, Natural Health Products, Sexual Enhancement Products, Sleep Supplements, and Weight Loss Products. And what they show is just for the last two years.

    Yes, problem pharmaceuticals are more likely to cause harm than problem natural health products, but then again, pharmaceuticals actually treat illnesses and are generally proven to do what they claim. As US NCCAM has found after a decade of scientific testing, natural health products generally do not live up to their claims and have little benefit than a placebo effect. Listing after listing states “… fails to show …”

    Barry Green
    Ottawa Skeptics

  8. Ex-drone
    Posted November 26, 2008 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Sorry. I was interrupted before I could finish.

    Mr. Rowland writes:
    “there have been zero deaths from consuming products purchased in these stores”

    Really? I wouldn’t be so sure. You might want to check the website What’s the Harm? under its Medical category. You might also want to check Health Canada’s list of Advisories, Warnings and Recalls by Subject under the categories of Ayurvedic Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Dietary Supplements, Herbal Medicines, Impotence Products, Natural Health Products, Sexual Enhancement Products, Sleep Supplements, and Weight Loss Products. And what they show is just for the last two years.

    Yes, problem pharmaceuticals are more likely to cause harm than problem natural health products, but then again, pharmaceuticals actually treat illnesses and are generally proven to do what they claim. As US NCCAM has found after a decade of scientific testing, natural health products generally do not live up to their claims and have little benefit than a placebo effect. Listing after listing states “… fails to show …”

    Barry Green
    Ottawa Skeptics

  9. Anonymous
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    This won’t even matter in one week from now. Clement will be back home whining and crying his mewly mouthed cries for justice and an election.

  10. Anonymous
    Posted December 1, 2008 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    This won’t even matter in one week from now. Clement will be back home whining and crying his mewly mouthed cries for justice and an election.


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