The homeopathic remedy containing rabid dog saliva that a Victoria-based naturopath gave a four-year-old boy is not licensed in Canada, the federal health ministry said Friday.
In a statement, Health Canada said Helios Homeopathy does not hold a license for any products containing Lyssin/Hydrophobinum, which is made using the saliva from a rabid dog.
The ministry figured this out after it searched the Licensed Natural Health Products Database, and did not find it listed there.
“Before a homeopathic product can be sold in Canada, it must meet Health Canada’s standards to demonstrate that the product is safe, meets the requirements set out in product monographs, and has been produced using modern quality standards,” read a ministry statement.
Selling an unlicensed natural health product is banned under the Natural Health Products Regulations and the Food and Drugs Act, the ministry added.
Doing so could carry a fine of up to $5,000 or up to three years in prison.
The statement came after B.C. Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry said she would urge Health Canada to review the approval of Lyssinum after Anke Zimmermann, the Victoria naturopath, prescribed it to a young boy.
In a February blog post, Zimmermann described how she prescribed Lyssin to a four-year-old who had behavioural problems such as hiding under tables and “growling like a dog.”
She previously told Global News that the product she gave him had gone through a dilution process 200 times, so much that it would be “essentially impossible” for its original molecules to still be present in the treatment.
Global News has reached out to Zimmermann for comment on this story.
Here’s Health Canada’s statement in full:
“Homeopathic products, such as Lyssin/Hydrophobinum, are regulated as natural health products (NHPs) under the Natural Health Products Regulations.
“Based on a search of Health Canada’s Licensed Natural Health Products Database, Helios Homeopathy does not hold a license for any products containing the ingredient Lyssin/Hydrophobinum.
“Health Canada takes the safety of health products on the Canadian market very seriously. Before a homeopathic product can be sold in Canada, it must meet Health Canada’s standards to demonstrate that the product is safe, meets the requirements set out in product monographs, and has been produced using modern quality standards. Approved natural health products can be identified by either a Natural Product Number (NPN) or a Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM) on the product label and are listed in the Licensed Natural Health Products Database. The sale of an unlicensed natural health product is prohibited under the Natural Health Products Regulations and the Food and Drugs Act, which indicates fines up to $5,000 or imprisonment up to 3 years. Based on the information provided, Health Canada is opening a case for follow-up. Should the Department identify any non-compliance with the Food and Drugs Act or the Natural Health Products Regulations, it will take action. The primary objective of Health Canada’s compliance and enforcement approach is to manage the risks to Canadians using the most appropriate level of intervention.
Any complaints regarding the sale of unapproved health products can be submitted to Health Canada using the online form.”
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