BCIT

BCIT

February 17, 2009 14:30 ET

BCIT Leads International Conference on Natural Health Products

Experts from around the world convene in Vancouver to identify safe and effective natural health products

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 17, 2009) - The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in conjunction with the University of British Columbia is organizing Gateway to Wellness, the Sixth Annual Natural Health Products Conference and Trade Show February 18 to 21, in Downtown Vancouver. 185 global experts from China, India, Cuba, and several other countries will attend and discuss the latest scientific breakthroughs which ultimately could impact the treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Paula Brown, director of applied research in Biosciences at BCIT says, "We are identifying the safest and most effective approaches to create the highest quality natural health products (NHPs) for the prevention and treatment of these serious health concerns."

One of the current issues with NHP's is ensuring health claims being made are actually founded. An Ipsos-Reid survey conducted in 2005 for Health Canada shows while over 70 percent of Canadians consume natural health products, more than 40 percent believe claims made by some manufacturers may be unproven. The conference will examine the legitimacy of traditional healing systems and the products arising from them.

"Canada is a world leader in the development of regulations that recognize the value and legitimacy of traditional healing systems and the products that arise from them," says Brown. "At the same time there are significant challenges to overcome in terms of verifying the health claims and assuring the safety and quality of individual products."

The Gateway to Wellness theme reflects British Columbia's positioning as a portal to Asia. Treatments from two of the world's oldest medical traditions - Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda from India - will be the focus of several sessions. Sponsors include Jamieson Laboratories, Genome British Columbia, and the American Herbal Product Association.

There are more than 40,000 different natural health products on Canadian shelves with national revenues of nearly 2.5 billion dollars per year.

For further information, media can contact Dave Pinton, media relations coordinator, at 778.928.2288 or dave_pinton@bcit.ca.

EDITORIAL NOTE:

Media interested in attending the trade show or requesting expert interviews and photo opportunities are asked to contact Paula Brown, director of applied research in Biosciences at BCIT at 778.928.2143.

The Gateway to Wellness, the Sixth Annual Natural Health Products Conference and Trade Show will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel, 791 Georgia Street in Vancouver, February 18-21.

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