Ottawa woman fined for selling ''natural'' bug spray
Andrea Usworth has been mixing-up and selling her "Natural Wisdom" health products since 2004.
Last year, she introduced a new, natural, bug repellant, called "Bug Off".
Usworth says "Bug Off" is a brisk seller at several local health food stores, online, and at kiosks at festivals.
She says it's all-natural, and safe.
A few months after it hit the market, Health Canada called and told her she had to stop selling it.
She pulled it off the market for 5 months, but says she didn't get the answers she wanted from Health Canada.
When she resumed sales, Usworth was fined $4,000.00.
“I just suspect that under the guise of protection, they are squeezing out the natural innovations,” says Usworth.
Bug Off contains Neem Oil, a natural insecticide; the side effects from high doses are the subject of debate.
Usworth says her product is much safer than many regulated bug repellants on the market. “Deet is a known neurotoxin,” she says. “You can't even get 100% Deet anymore.”
Usworth believes she is being unfairly targeted.
Health Canada was unable to respond to our questions about this issue before our deadline.