B.C. naturopath banned from making fecal transplants for autistic kids loses again in court
The B.C. Court of Appeal has dismissed an application from a Fraser Valley naturopath who is banned from producing and selling pills and enemas made from human feces to treat autistic children.
Jason Klop was seeking leave to appeal a December 2022 B.C. Supreme Court decision supporting both the ban and the investigations into his practice by the College of Naturopathic Physicians of B.C.
Appeal Court Justice Leonard Marchand said in his reasons last week that Klop's proposed appeal of that decision "has insufficient merit to meet the relatively low threshold for granting leave."
In the lower court ruling, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Jacqueline Hughes had said the evidence in front of the college was enough to suggest Klop's business could present "a real risk of harm to the public" and that he may have committed professional misconduct and unprofessional conduct.
Klop was the subject of an August 2021 "extraordinary action" from the college, banning him from producing and marketing fecal microbiota transplants (FMT) while under investigation because of a number of complaints about his business.
As CBC first reported in January 2020, Klop has been charging parents about $15,000 US for autistic children as young as two years old to receive FMT, mainly at a clinic in the Mexican oceanside city of Rosarito. He has since expanded to offer his services in Hungary, Australia and Panama.
FMT treatments involve taking bacteria and other microbes from the poop of a healthy person and transferring them to a patient either anally or orally, with the goal of restoring a normal environment inside the gut.
Although it is currently the subject of research for a wide array of potential uses, FMT is only approved in Canada and the U.S. for the treatment of recurrent C. difficile infection that hasn't responded to other therapies.
Doctors and scientists have warned that any other use of this emerging therapy is experimental and carries serious risk of infection, while people with autism have denounced Klop's procedure as an unproven treatment that puts vulnerable children in danger.
According to Hughes' judgment, the college has been looking into Klop's business since July 2019, with assistance from private investigators with Paladin Risk Solutions.
The investigation has expanded a number of times over the years and includes allegations that he's violating federal policies, making false claims about the efficacy of FMT, working outside the scope of practice for naturopaths, practising in a jurisdiction where he's not licensed, engaging in improper business relationships, describing himself as a "doctor" in marketing material without specifying that he's a naturopath and breaking college rules on advertising.
The ban on producing and selling FMT products stems from an April 2021 complaint filed by a former employee of Klop's business, who alleged he was producing these pills and enemas in a basement apartment in Abbotsford using his nephews' feces without any quality control or proper screening.