As a first step towards modifying regulations covering the sale of imported Chinese herbal remedies, federal health authorities in Canada have met with practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine.
Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq held roundtable talks on Friday with Chinese medicine professionals in Vancouver on Canada's west coast.
More than 1,300 traditional Chinese remedies are currently sold in Canada, but the government -- seeing a boom in the market -- says it wants to be sure the laws on sales and prescription reflect current best medical practices.
"We do have legislation in place that is 40 years old," Aglukkaq said
"Our government strongly supports enhancing Canadians' access to a wide range of safe and effective natural health products, including Traditional Chinese Medicines," she said.
Sales of medicines are regulated at the federal level, but health care is governed by the provinces.
Albert Fok, who represents a group of merchants in Vancouver's Chinatown area including several purveyors of traditional Chinese remedies, said federal and provincial authorities should work together to harmonize the legislation.