Natural and Health Products
I did my last Christmas Craft Fair last weekend, and I just wanted to touch on a few things.
These Christmas Gift and Hobby Shows are a great way to showcase your products and get out there and get known, but before you do this please make sure you comply to the rules and regulations in your area, city, and country.
It seems every year there are more and more people wanting to get out and sell their natural products, this is great but it’s so important to comply with the labeling laws and to be careful about claims you are making.
Claims on products
If you are claiming that your product will cure something or prevent something……be very careful!
Here in Canada if you claim your product is going to cure something you best make sure all your ducks are in a row. Health Inspectors do show up at some of these events.
As an example – many crafters and skin care and soap makers make natural bug sprays. If you claim that your spray is a bug deterrent and you live in Canada – in order to sell that product a person has to do the required laboratory testing to legally sell bug spray – this can cost thousands of dollars. This is because this product is considered a pesticide – so there is a lot of red tape to get through to be able to sell a product like this.
Here is a link to what is required from Health Canada for pesticide testing – Health Canada Pesticide Testing
What is required when making Skin Care Products
First of all in Canada all skin care products MUST be registered with Health Canada regardless of what it is. This includes Soap. Here is a link to updated information from Health Canada on Cosmetic Health Care including any updates or requirement. Make sure to sign up for the updates if you are making your own skin care products and selling them.
Sign up for Health Canada Notifications on Cosmetic Health
Health products that have been authorized for sale by Health Canada will have an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN), a Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM) or a Natural Product Number (NPN) on the label.
In the United States in most cases you are not required to get approval from the FDA to sell your own skin care products, that is most cases but not all – be sure to follow the FDA guidelines that can be found here FDA Cosmetic Resources please be sure to check and see what requirements must be met before selling your skin care products.
So skin care products such as soap and moisturizing creams all the would be required in Canada would be to register with Health Canada – you are required to register before selling any products and once approved will be given a NPN number.
If you have a natural product that does more – say helps to fight eczema or other skin conditions then you will require a DIN-NP number.
Be sure to check the Health Canada site and know what is required when making such claims.
I have seen so many people making skin care products and herbalists laying all kinds of claims on their products, some of them probably truly know what they are talking about, but very few are compliant.
As an example I had been looking for some Chaga at the markets, knowing it is a great tea for overall health. I found some…and was happy to have found it. I had a look as I know what Chaga looks like and was confident it was in fact the real thing. I was happy to have found it, bought it and when I got home was so surprised to see printed on the back “This tea is a treatment for cancer……now that’s opening up a can of worms.
Also, there are so many claims out there of skin creams curing all kinds of skin conditions – those would require a number from Health Canada for sure.
With more and more people making and selling products and shipping them in from other countries Health Canada is cracking down.
It is important to make sure you know what you are buying. If the product is legit and has been approved by Health Canada you will find a number and recommended dosages.
When you are selling products, Health Canada also has labeling requirements – it’s important to make sure you comply with these as well.
For more information on this go to Canadian Labeling Requirements
Progressive Business Plan for a Skin Care Product Manufacturer: A Detailed Template with Innovative Growth Strategies
In the United States If a customer experiences any type of adverse reaction to your products and reports you to the FDA, then your products can be investigated, and if they are found to be a health concern they will be recalled.
You are not required to carry insurance, but if you have liability insurance it will cover any damages associated with any claims.
In Canada here is a sample of what kind of insurance you can carry.
- $2,000,000 in coverage for Products Liability and Commercial General Liability
- Cyber Liability coverage for Third Party damages due to a Privacy Breach. Example: Stolen credit card information
- $50,000 in contents coverage at premises listed on file
- Coverage extensions for property while temporarily away from premises (Farmers Market or Trade Show)
- Ability to add Additional Insured’s to meet market/exhibit insurance requirements
I hope you find this information helpful – for more info on labeling etc. Follow the links below
Organic and natural product labeling
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It’s actually quite frightening when you think about it – how many DIY makers of health products do you think know all this information?
If I had to bet on it – I’d say at least 50% of them don’t.
What do you think are the penalties for not abiding by these health product regulations – are the fines etc extreme?
I think probably less than 50 %. I try to educate people, our local farmers market alone one year had about 4 or 5 people making skin care products, using cheap dollar store bottles and laying all kinds of claims. Most were pretty good when I explained things to them, but one girl couldn’t care less.
Penalties vary from $1,000 to $10,000
Hello and thanks for the very useful and insightful post. I would not have thought that there would be so much red tape and regulations in place, but then I guess they must be there for good reason. It’s good if you to share this with your site visitors and I really appreciate it. Thanks
It’s important to make sure the products being produced are safe for the people using them. I’m glad we have these regulations in place. I’ll keep sharing what I know. I’m glad you stopped by and commented.
Yes, you see it so many times that companies promise something, which isn’t actually true and then they get sued. People have to be careful because giving false promises is a scam.
I had no idea that there was insurance for such things. It sounds funny but when you explain it, it makes a lot of sense.
It’s good to make sure you know the product you are buying for sure.
This post presents excellent and valuable information about the compliance when selling and/or creating a product to sell, insurance and much more. It lists regarding the website where to find the information of.
One may end of filing bankruptcy if not compliant.
I like to have to have my own brand of health care product along the line. I had not thought so deeply about this.
Canada seems to be more stringent than USA as per the post. But if there is a problem reported incurring with your product USA is tough.
One has to really consider the details of law requirement wherever they live, register product and countries or the world when the product goes worldwide. It may wipe off your bank balance if you fall short of the requirement that the law demands.
Thanks for your comment Anusuya. There is a lot to consider, but registering your products does not cost anything, I paid about $600 a year for insurance so that wasn’t to bad. The cost comes if laboratory tested is required for items that lay a claim to cure something, or for items such as bug sprays.