CHFA Asks MPP Candidates to Focus on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention



    Research Shows that Natural Health Products Can
    Reduce Health Care Costs

    TORONTO, Oct. 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the Canadian Health Food
Association (CHFA) appealed to all Ontario provincial candidates to increase
their health promotion efforts, saying that natural health products (NHPs) are
key to wellness and illness prevention. The announcement was made in
anticipation of National Health Food Month, which will be kicked off
November 1, 2007.
    "More and more studies are coming out demonstrating the health benefits
of NHPs," said CHFA President and CEO Penelope Marrett. "It only makes sense
that those who run our province be aware of these benefits and encourage
Ontarians to use NHPs in their goal of achieving optimal health and quality of
life. Giving citizens the appropriate tools and incentives for health
promotion can only lead to greater health care savings."
    Examples of the research related to NHPs include a 2006 study published
in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Canada which demonstrated that
a simple pre-natal multivitamin taken by a woman of childbearing age can
drastically reduce birth defects that currently affect one in every 17 babies
born in the world today. Recent research conducted by Dr. Bruce Holub for
Agriculture Canada has also concluded that the daily use of omega 3 fatty
acids, flaxseed and folic acid can help treat cardiovascular disease and lead
to $6 billion in annual savings.
    In response to these findings, the federal government and national
organizations representing illnesses have taken steps to increase their
promotion of NHPs. Last February, Health Canada introduced its revised Canada
Food Guide, which recommends that Canadians, and especially women of
childbearing age, take a daily multivitamin, among other supplements, to
promote health and prevent illnesses. In addition, the Canadian Cancer Society
announced last summer its endorsement of the daily use of vitamin D as cancer
prevention therapy.
    Marrett highlighted that more must be done to give Ontarians the
necessary tools for better health. She suggests that those who use NHPs should
benefit from the same tax incentives available to Canadians who obtain
prescription drugs and medical devices.
    "It's not right that the 75% of Canadians who use NHPs are required to
pay tax, including provincial sales tax, on these purchases," said Marrett.
"In an effort to increase our province's wellbeing, and to reduce the very
large financial burden which healthcare places on our system, it only makes
sense to offer Ontarians incentives to practice promotion of their own
health."
    National Health Food Month runs through the month of November and will
this year feature the theme, "Celebrate your health naturally." More
information on related activities can be found at www.chfa.ca .

    The Canadian Health Food Association (www.chfa.ca) is Canada's largest
national trade association dedicated to the natural and organic products
industry. Our members represent the entire supply chain including growers,
manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and importers involved in
a variety of industry sub-sectors such as vitamin and mineral supplements,
herbal products, homeopathics, sports nutrition products, natural and organic
foods, fibres and health and beauty aids. CHFA member products support
Canadians seeking optimal health and quality of life.




For further information:

For further information: Catherin Fortin LeFaivre, CHFA Public
Relations, (613) 233-8906, catherine@impactcanada.com; Natalie Cajic, CHFA
Communications Coordinator, (416) 497-6939, ext 234, ncajic@chfa.ca


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