Mr. Speaker, first, I congratulate the hon. member and express to the House how much we all appreciate the wisdom he brings. He has obviously been on this issue for many years.
I would like to ask a question on some of the questions he posed in his speech.
In the government's response, the Health Minister has chosen to send a letter to the chair of the health committee expressing these proposed amendments about which the member has heard. There are really three key amendments. The third is the legislated category, and that will be my main question. Without a legislated category for natural health products, I think the concern would be greater, that pharmaceutical companies would ultimately be able to take over the natural health products.
My hon. friend opposite asked about the costs being driven up, and this is how that would happen. In the third legislated category pharmaceutical companies could not take it over. As a result, the prices would stay the same.
I simply mention for my hon. friend that the research under the third proposed amendment, the research required by natural health products, would take into consideration historical empirical evidence. We have traditional histories, which I think are very respectful of our aboriginal communities and our Chinese communities, for example, that have used products without harm for 5,000 years. The proposed amendments the minister has put on the table will actually help all those areas.
The final issue is Health Canada, which is a huge concern of all members here. The legislation and the proposed amendments will point out that there will be a need or a conviction on the part of Health Canada to act in good faith and act reasonably. That will be worded in the new documents and the proposed changes.
Could the member comment on how the third category would stop some of the pharmaceutical influence?