The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) hosted its second annual Natural Health Products Awareness Day on Parliament Hill on November 15. CHFA members and staff attended strategic private meetings with Members of Parliament (MPs), distributed Educational Awareness Day kits, conducted a press conference, and participated in various media interviews, including an appearance on CTV Morning Live by CHFA president Helen Sherrard.
"The purpose of these activities was to promote CHFA's key message that the time is now for Parliament to create the new Natural Health Products Act," explained Helen. "We continue to educate MPs on the important role NHPs play in our economy and in the lives of millions of Canadians."?
In addition to MP meetings, CHFA staff secured a key meeting with the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) where Helen and Carl Carter – CHFA's director of Regulatory Affairs & Policy Development – spoke with Phil Harwood, PMO Policy Advisor. Meetings were also held with the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition (New Democratic Party of Canada) and the Office of the Liberal Leader. To round out the meetings, Helen and Carl, along with CHFA board chair, Matthew James and government relations oversight committee chair Matt Breech met with David Lee, director, Office of Legislative and Regulatory Modernization.
The day of meetings was concluded with a CHFA evening reception to further support MP engagement efforts. The reception was attended by 32 MPs and Senators. CHFA reports it is pleased with the quality of conversations held and believes its message of creating the new Natural Health Products Act was well received. CHFA continues to work with MPs both in Ottawa and in member ridings and looks forward to its next bilateral meeting in January of 2012.
The association also released the results of a national Ipsos Reid Omnibus survey that clearly indicates the public is in support of the creation of an Act specifically for NHPs, with seven in 10 Canadians supporting this initiative. •
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