Are you beginning to notice the disappearance of many natural health products from the shelves of your local health food store? Even the health food sections of the larger grocery stores and big box stores are shrinking. And it looks as though this decline in natural health products will continue for some time yet.

On January 1, 2004 the Natural Health Products Regulations came into effect and apply to all natural health products (NHPs). According to Health Canada, the Natural Health Products Regulations will help give Canadians access to a wide range of natural health products that are safe, effective and of high quality. Products defined in the Regulations as natural health products include vitamins, minerals, herbal remedies, probiotics, homeopathic medicines, traditional medicines (such as Traditional Chinese Medicines), amino acids and essential fatty acids. Many everyday consumer products such as certain toothpastes, mouthwashes, shampoos, antiperspirants, and facial products are classified as natural health products in Canada due to their medicinal ingredients and intended uses.

Natural health products that fall under these regulations require an NPN (Natural Product Number). Once Health Canada has assessed the product, an eight digit product license number, preceded by the letters “NPN” will appear on the label informing consumers that Health Canada has reviewed the product for safety, quality, and health claims, and the product has been approved to be marketed under the Natural Health Products Regulations and has authorized the product for sale in Canada. The Natural Health Product Directorate (NHPD) is the regulating authority for health products for sale in Canada.

Natural health products currently in the market that have not yet been evaluated by Health Canada, but can be legally sold in Canada, have exemption numbers. The exemption number will be listed on the product label in the form EN-XXXXXX.

Last March, the Director General of the Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD) Scott Sawler, announced that Canadians had access to well over 43,000 authorized natural health products and that number continued to grow each day. He assured Canadians that since the introduction of the Natural Health Product Regulations the number of NHPs available was growing steadily and not decreasing.

In reality, the truth is that thousands of legitimate and beneficial NHPs have been denied NPNs and have vanished from the marketplace shelves forever, while products like Red Bull, Rolaids and Crest Toothpaste have been issued NPNs. It definitely appears to be a double standard for Health Canada, and a hot issue for many advocate groups, businesses, and individuals who rely on natural health products.

Because there are numerous health products that were not approved by Health Canada, or did not comply with the requirements for a NPN, there will be less and less products for consumers to choose from. As this is obviously the direction Health Canada is determined to pursue, it only makes sense to align ourselves with a company who is staying on top of all the regulations and requirements to ensure our products stay on the market and are available for us to take and share with others.

As Members of AIM, this should be our cue telling us that it is our time to spread the word about the AIM products. We are extremely fortunate to have a dedicated team of people keeping on top of Health Canada’s regulations, ensuring AIM is compliant, so we may continue to have the right to use natural health products to protect our health, and share them with others who wish to use NHPs. To date AIM has acquired twelve NPNs with many other AIM products in the licensing process, which carry the EN designation on their label. Food products such as AIM BarleyLife®, LeafGreens®, Just Carrots®, ProPeas™ and RediBeets® come under the regulations of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and do not require NPNs.

As Members of AM, our time is now! Now is the time to let people know AIM is here to stay and that the AIM products are meeting the requirements of the Natural Health Products Regulations and are being granted NPNs. As Napoleon Hill once said, “Your big opportunity may be right where you are now.” As Members of AIM, I know we are all… in the right place, at the right time.

Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ~ Thomas Edison

For more information about the AIM products, please visit our website at where you can read more, download datasheets and watch videos. As with any supplement it is always recommended to read the literature thoroughly to find out if the product is right for you, and consult a health care practitioner if you have any medical conditions or concerns.

For more information about the future of natural health products in Canada and what you can do to help, visit the Health Action Network Society at and the Natural Health Products Protection Association at You can also contact your Member of Parliament and the Minister of Health. Let them know they are not serving your best interests by limiting your access to natural health products.

Author's Bio: 

A Member of The AIM Companies for over twenty-four years, Joanne Jackson takes pride in sharing her knowledge of nutrition and the AIM products with others. As an advocate of healthy eating and proper nutrition, Joanne understands that the choices we make, and choosing them wisely, is the key to wellness. Joanne holds a certificate in Nutrition: Studies and Applications, a certificate in Natural Health Fundamentals and a certificate in Sports and Fitness Nutrition. She is currently studying for her diploma as a Certified Holistic Nutritionist.