Health Canada Approves… for August 25th

Welcome to the the first installment of Health Canada Approves… a new weekly series designed to introduce you to the wide array of natural health products given the gold seal by Health Canada’s Natural Health Products Directorate.

If you’re a regular reader of Skeptic North, you’ll know that we’ve been critical of the NHPD in the past for declaring products “effective” without sufficient evidence of such claims.  Have we been too harsh?  That’s for you to decide.

Each week, we’ll be presenting two products — one real and approved by Health Canada, the other invented in the darker reaches our brains — and ask you to figure out which is which.  The following week, we’ll tally the votes, give you the answer, and present a new set of products for your consideration.

So here we go.  And remember, the real product “has been assessed by Health Canada and has been found to be safe, effective and of high quality under its recommended conditions of use.”

  • Devil's Claw Secondary Tuber: Traditionally used to help treat inflammation of the joints. (62%, 91 Votes)
  • Reastatica: Homeopathic preparation used in the treatment of disorders of the nervous and phlegmatic systems. (38%, 56 Votes)
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12 Responses to “Health Canada Approves… for August 25th”

  1. Don’t go for synthetic drugs (sources are mostly chemical). Prefer natural substances such as herbs and minerals. Go for products which are not tested on animals

    • Maxim says:

      @Dr. Nancy Malik

      So you are telling me to go for the unrefine stuff that gets all those other compounds that could make me sick rather than the synthetic drug that have refined the good protein that do the desired effect. Hummmm…

      What kind of doctor are you exactly? Not sure you are a medical doctor.

    • Lorne says:

      Dr. Malik,

      You mean natural substances such as lead, uranium, arsenic, nightshade, ricin, hemlock etc. Natural does not imply safer.

    • Steve Thoms says:

      Not sure if they covered this in your homeopathy training, but I think you should know that herbs and minerals also have chemicals. They are loaded with them, in fact.

      Synthetic drugs typically drive their chemicals from the refined versions of the active ingredients from the herbs and minerals.

      Also, why mention the animal testing part at all? That’s a different question relating to biomedical ethics, not product efficacy.

    • David says:

      I don’t mean to be trite “Dr.” Malik (Dr. of homeopathy. I’ve checked. Your stethoscope avatar a pretty thin veil) but they’re all chemicals!

    • Richard says:


      Hey Doc…I am mostly chemical too, and lots of people go for me…or at least I wish….100% all-Natural me!

  2. Chip says:

    I wonder if Health Canada has any warnings on the most ubiquitous solvent chemical on the planet: Dihydrogen Oxide. That stuff is in practically everything!

  3. Manda Wingfield says:

    Lovely idea for a fact or fiction feature. I’ve got no medical background at all to inform my vote (and resisted the urge to sleuth it out on google). I’m keen for the revel next week.

  4. Pat Dixon says:

    Fun idea – I’ll follow it awhile to see if it has any hope of stimulating logical thinking. I had previously thought that Health Canada allows any dingbat ‘alternative med’ as long as it is proven ‘harmless’, which is bad enough. But actually declaring something ‘effective’ without scientific proof makes me sick.

  5. Chris says:

    Nancy Malik is a spam bot. She was banned from JREF forums for spamming basically the same off topic message several times.


  • Erik Davis

    Erik is a technology professional based in Toronto, focused on the intersection of the internet and the traditional media and telecommunications sectors. A reluctant blogger, he was inspired by the great work Skeptic North has done to combat misinformation and shoddy science reporting in the Canadian media, and in the public at large. Erik has a particular interest in critical reasoning, and in understanding why there’s so little of it in the public discourse. You can follow Erik's occasional 140 character musings @erikjdavis