To be legally sold in Canada, all natural health products (NHP) must have a product licence, and the Canadian sites that manufacture, package, label and import these products must have site licences.
To get product and site licences, specific labelling and packaging requirements must be met, good manufacturing practices must be followed, and proper safety and efficacy evidence must be provided.
All natural health products must have a product licence before they can be sold in Canada. To get a licence, applicants must give detailed information about the product to Health Canada, including: medicinal ingredients, source, dose, potency, non-medicinal ingredients and recommended use(s).
Once Health Canada has assessed a product and decided it is safe, effective and of high quality, it issues a product licence along with an eight-digit Natural Product Number (NPN) which must appear on the label. This number lets you know that the product has been reviewed and approved by Health Canada.
A 2004 study detected parabens in 18 of 20 samples of tissue from breast tumour biopsies. The study did not prove parabens cause cancer, only that they were easily detected among cancerous cells. Nevertheless, the results point to further investigation. For more than 25 years it has been know that estrogen exposure is linked to breast cancer development and progression. As parabens weakly mimic estrogen, there is concern that repeated, cumulative, long-term exposure to such chemicals may have an impact. Another study showed that parabens could be detected in the blood and urine of healthy young male volunteers a few hours after paraben-containing lotions were applied to their skin. The authors concluded that since the chemicals could be absorbed, metabolized and excreted, they could potentially contribute to adverse health effects. Though there is no conclusive scientific evidence that parabens are harmful to the body, some researchers feel there may be reason for concern.
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