Or is there more to the government's about-face on the amendments of C-51?
C-51, the Act to Amend the Food and Drug Act, is a bill that would place heavy restrictions on homeopathic medicines and herbal remedies, a $2.5 billion industry in Canada.
Opponents say it would make 89 per cent of natural health products unregistered, classified as controlled substances and therefore illegal. These opponents, it should go without saying, were outraged when the bill was proposed in April.
But last week, Health Minister Tony Clement surprisingly backed off the bill after that same small-ish but vociferous grassroots movement rejected it.
Quite a powerful protest, no?
Only the turn-of-events listed above wasn't driven by any grassroots, but by manufacturers of the products the government would like to regulate. StopC51.com, for one, is run by a natural remedies company called TrueHope Nutritional Support Ltd., who are currently fighting Health Canada in court.
There's also foreign investment. A good percentage of the herbal treatments are from companies in China, and, if the threats are to be believed, those companies would leave if the government put its foot down.
So, if there's one conclusion to be drawn here, it might be that the loudest protests aren't the ones with megaphones and homemade signs, but the biggest banks.
Video by Brian Smith