Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann is asking the Auditor General to investigate millions of dollars in grants from Alberta Health to Pure North S’Energy Foundation for a vitamin supplement program.
In his letter to the Auditor General, Swann says recent media reports by CBC’s Charles Rusnell and Jennie Russell, as well as his own research, indicate there is a clear cause for concern. Swann is requesting the investigation into both the grant process and the effectiveness of the program itself.
“Certainly, the strong connection the former Official Administrator of Alberta Health Services had with this program while it was seeking approval raises serious questions,” says Swann. “It is definitely worth a look to see if there was a conflict of interest.
“The public also needs to be assured that millions of dollars of taxpayer money were given for the right reasons and for a program that has a demonstrated track record of improving health.”
An additional area of concern for Swann is the potential public health impacts of providing large amounts of supplements to vulnerable populations without peer review. He worries this could be seen as human trials of an unproven treatment.
“Whatever the motivations for the funding, we must not lose sight of the very real public health and ethical questions raised by the implementation of this program. We need answers.
“In the meantime, I believe the government would be prudent if it suspended further funding of the program.”
A copy of the letter can be found here.