Health Canada

Health Canada

November 27, 2007 00:37 ET

The Government of Canada Announces New Measures to Enhance Canada's Food and Product Safety

BEIJING, CHINA--(Marketwire - Nov. 27, 2007) - The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, made two announcements today during a visit to China that will help to enhance the safety of Canada's food and products.

"Canadians have told us they are concerned about the safety of the food and products they buy and use, and our Government shares these concerns," said Minister Clement. "By announcing these measures today in cooperation with one of our trading partners, we are taking an important step to protect the health and safety of Canadian families."

Minister Clement joined China's Minister of Health to launch a new Canada-China Joint Committee on Health. The Joint Committee will consist of representatives from a number of Canadian and Chinese departments involved in health matters to share information, establish goals, and address emerging issues. Areas to be discussed include:

- Food, drug and product regulations;

- Emerging infectious diseases; and

- The promotion of scientific exchange.

The Committee may also invite academics, researchers, and representatives from non-governmental organizations to attend meetings.

Minister Clement also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China's Minister of the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) to enhance cooperation on issues related to consumer product safety. The MOU will:

- Establish technical working groups that will share information on regulatory requirements and laboratory testing procedures for specific consumer products of common concern, such as toys and children's jewellery;

- Set up training workshops for Chinese manufacturers in order to ensure their full understanding and compliance with Canadian safety requirements; and

- Establish ongoing information-sharing mechanisms and approaches between the two governments, including an urgent consultation mechanism which would be used when critical product safety issues arise.

"This announcement is an important next step in health cooperation between both countries, a priority agreed upon at the G8 Meeting in July by President Hu and the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper," said the Honourable Dr. Chen Zhu, China's Minister of Health. "Many of the world's health issues are truly global in scope, and demand the high level of collaboration this committee signals."

During the visit to Beijing, Minister Clement also spoke at the International High-Level Food Safety Forum, which was organized by the Chinese government and the World Health Organization, on the importance of international cooperation on issues related to food safety.

"Food safety is a global issue and we must work together for the health of all of our citizens," said Minister Clement. "Canada has one of the safest and most effective food supply systems in the world, and we are working co-operatively to keep it that way."

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Contact Information

  • Media Enquiries:
    Health Canada
    (613) 957-2983
    Office of the Honourable Tony Clement
    Federal Minister of Health
    Laryssa Waler
    (613) 957-0200
    Public Enquiries:
    (613) 957-2991