New Hand Sanitizer Regulations Stifle Innovation
posted on November 11, 2014 12:30 PM
New Health Canada Hand Sanitizer Regulations Stifle Innovation
Benefect Suspends Hand Sanitizer Products
Nov. 10 2014, Ontario CA - Health Canada regulations for natural products & hand sanitizers have undergone a lot of changes in the past few years - the latest change takes the market back decades & excludes innovative technologies by retroactively implementing a monograph that limits active ingredients to the traditional chemicals! Benefect (being the only innovative product in the category to use Thyme Oil) now has to start over to get the new/old list updated to permit new technologies.
This change does not affect Benefect’s disinfectant registrations with Health Canada, only the Hand Sanitizer product.
In 2008, Benefect was the first botanical Hand Sanitizer under the then new Natural Health Products Directorate. Over the following years the directorate & the regulations were reshuffled a couple of times for budgetary, workload, efficiency & staffing reasons. In 2010 this resulted in the agency applying a completely new Human Use Antiseptics Monograph with very different guidelines - retroactively onto all Hand Sanitizers in the program. This defeated the purpose of a new Natural Health Products Directorate because this new monograph only permitted the use of traditional old-school synthetic chemicals from decades ago. It did not have Thyme Oil on the list of accepted Active Ingredients! Of course this was the case because no one thought a botanical sanitizer was possible back then!
This “new” monograph only permitted “old” chemicals such as: triclosan (which is actually being banned by every other government agency around the world as we speak!), quaternary ammoniums (the leading cause of occupational asthma in the world), 60-80% alcohol (currently being banned in schools etc. where there are young children), rubbing alcohol (even more toxic) & iodine (stains skin) from being used in hand sanitizers! The purpose of a monograph is to “pre-approve” safe & efficacious ingredients yet all our data from over 15 years of safe & effective use under Health Canada clearly shows Benefect products are safe & effective – we’re just not on the old-school list - which is a political process to change.
So Benefect, with our botanical Thyme Oil Active Ingredient, was the only product affected by this new/old regulation – because we’re the only innovation in this category.
Our only choice today is to fight the fight yet again to move Thyme Oil onto this old list, which unfortunately is a decision only the Senior Level of Government can make & it can take years & cost over $100,000. Again, we are the only product that has to go through this process, which is not very fair for a small company. What’s even more unfair is that when we win this battle, our investment & hard work simultaneously paves the road for other companies to ride on our coattails & on our dime – once again.
Unfortunately, this means that in the meantime we have to suspend sales of our Hand Sanitizer products until this process is completed. But rest assured we will continue to serve our existing Wallmount Hand Sanitizer customers by filling all Refill Cartridge orders with “Benefect Natural Hand Cleanser Refills” for the foreseeable future. Same product inside, new label outside.
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