Dr. Eldon Dahl is a naturopathic doctor whose home was raided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Health Canada about a year ago. This is just one example of what Bill C-6 will allow the officials of Health Canada to do, under the pretext of "saving" us from so-called harmful natural products. Bill C-6 is not about protecting us, but allowing the government to intrude upon the privacy of our home. Dr. Dahl explains what happened:
Health Canada raided my loving family – at gunpoint – and kept us prisoners in our own home for 11 hours while they confiscated both business and personal property. I am a naturopathic doctor who sells 100% safe natural products. One of the excuses for the raid was that the totally harmless folic acid (a vitamin) that I sell, did not conform to regulations. Instead of informing me by letter or phone call, Health Canada used SWAT team tactics, which caused us extreme emotional distress as well as irrecoverable financial loss. This unreasonable search and seizure is proof-positive that Health Canada cannot be trusted with the powers it already has.
The Food and Drug Act gives Health Canada the power to "seize and detain for such time as may be necessary any article by means of, or in relation to, which the inspector believes on reasonable grounds any provision of this Act or the regulations has been contravened." Health Canada has for many years been using this clause as an excuse to remove from the market entirely safe products which are incapable of harming anyone, and in our case are products that many count on to build and maintain their health. By means of Bill C-6, Health Canada intends to extend its confiscatory powers to every industry that sells consumer goods of any kind. If Bill C-6 becomes law, then every consumer in Canada will be affected by this runaway bureaucracy.
All of the products that I sell are totally 100% safe. All are freely available for sale in health food stores in the U.S. There has never been a single documented fatality nor even one documented case of harm caused by any of the products I sell, not ever, not in the entire history of the planet. Clearly, Health Canada has for many years been using safety as a smokescreen to hide its true agenda. What is worse, now Health Canada is using safety as the banner they wish you blindly to follow.
What happened to me and my family on January 15th is shocking and incredible, especially given that it happened in Canada and in 2009. My wife and I are still affected adversely by its impact. I wish I were able to tell you about it face-to-face rather than through the written word.
On January 15, 2009, at our home in Calgary, my wife answered the door. Four RCMP officers, one with his gun drawn and finger on the trigger burst through. The sheer force of entry damaged the locking mechanism, which lay on the floor. I will never forget the terrified look on the face of my wife; I have never seen her so afraid. To describe the panic that I felt is nearly impossible. My wife raised her hands over her head in surrender, as an armed RCMP officer pointed his gun to her chest yelling, "That is not cool, that is not cool!" I thought she was going to be killed.
Unbeknown to us, at our daughter’s house across town, our daughter’s roommate was experiencing the same treatment. The RCMP and Health Canada broke into our daughter’s house without her name appearing on any warrant. This is her private residence, totally unrelated to our business. The raiding party forced themselves into my daughter’s house and even kicked in her bedroom door.
That day’s events have permanently scarred my memory, and I live with the terror that it may happen again. I heard my wife say, "Please put the gun away! We are no harm to any of you. We are humanitarians, not criminals." The RCMP kept us confined for the "protection" of Health Canada agents who arrived shortly thereafter, under the supervision of drug inspector Kim Seeling.
I was handed a search warrant and told of our right to remain silent, because anything said could be used against us in a court of law. The search warrant was for Folic Acid, the amino-acid L-carnitine, plant-based progesterone cream and other ultra safe supplements that are available over the counter in the U.S.A. or for export. I asked the officer for clarification, "You raided our home at gunpoint for common vitamins?" He answered, "We have a search warrant for these products."
My wife asked the officers for their names and badge numbers; they refused her request. My wife, daughter and I were sequestered to sit in our living room for 11 hours. I asked the officer if I could photograph or film the investigative proceedings. He said, "You need to sit where you are. We are treating you very low key. We could place you in a holding cell till the search and investigations are concluded, but we don’t think it’s necessary if you cooperate." Next I was supervised by two RCMP officers who forced me to open our home safe. Once opened, Kim Selling photographed its contents.
Whenever washroom breaks were needed, a male RCMP officer went with us and stood at the door and listened. Having my wife and daughter victimized in our own home clearly violated our Canadian Charter Rights. And why? Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure.
Stormtrooper tactics were never required. The decent and humane thing would have been for Health Canada to notify me in writing or by phone call that they suspected some of my products may not have been in compliance, then let me respond and make good on any alleged non-compliance. After all, my products are 100% safe, as Health Canada well knows.
November 15, 2009, marks 11 months since this happened. No charges have been laid against me. My entire finished products inventory (not only those listed in the search warrant) continues being seized, my case files are sealed, the RCMP Incident Report refused, and our Access of Information report has been denied. My ability to make an income remains severely restricted because I am unable to conduct any business.
Health Canada also seized my family’s personal computers plus a tax refund cheque that was in my desk. I am an author, and two of my books that were to be published are on the hard drives that were confiscated. Thus, I am also unable to earn an income from my writing. In seizing my entire inventory, Health Canada violated Section 37 of the Food and Drugs Act, which exempts products that are not manufactured or sold for consumption in Canada. Many of the products I sell are destined for foreign countries and fully comply with the regulations in those countries.
Health Canada also went way beyond its authority by deliberately damaging my international trade reputation. Health Canada is already destroying businesses and livelihoods.
Bill C-6 would give them the power to escalate and expand their police powers exponentially, across many industries, including every retail store in Canada. Since Health Canada has a history of abusing the powers given to it (the armed raid on my home being only one example), there is reason to believe that they will also abuse the even greater powers given them by Bill C-6.
Dr. Eldon Dahl