Health Canada

Health Canada

May 20, 2008 08:00 ET

Minister Clement Discusses Food, Health and Consumer Product Safety at the Sixty-first World Health Assembly

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND--(Marketwire - May 20, 2008) - The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, today hosted a luncheon with Health Ministers from around the world, while they were in Geneva participating in the World Health Organization's 61st World Health Assembly.

During the luncheon Minister Clement led a discussion on protecting the health and safety of people, by having in place stringent laws and measures on consumer goods and foods. The luncheon provided an opportunity to discuss potential areas of collaboration and partnerships.

"This year, the Canadian Government proposed tougher food and product safety laws that will prevent problems in the first place and increase penalties on actions that endanger people's health," said Minister Clement. "Our discussion here is important today, because when food and products cross borders, as they often do now in our global economy, federal governments have the responsibility to ensure their product safety standards are second to none."

The new legislation was introduced as part of the Canadian Government's new Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan. The legislation calls for:

- A general prohibition against the manufacture, importation, advertisement or sale of consumer products that are a danger to human health or safety;

- A requirement of mandatory reporting by suppliers of serious product-related incidents - including near-misses and defects, allowing for more targeted oversight;

- Dramatically increased fines for violations; and

- A new power for the federal government to order recalls of unsafe consumer products.

Minister Clement also discussed the proposed legislation in his address yesterday in the plenary session of World Health Assembly, made up of representatives from 193 member states. "We need to strive to work together and promote standards that ensure the health and safety of our citizens, our communities and our environment."

The proposed new legislation was also on the agenda when Minister Clement met with the Health Minister from China, the U.S. and Mexico.

Minister Clement also met with the Health Ministers from Brazil and the United Arab Emirates and participated in a trilateral meeting with the U.S. and Mexico.

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Contact Information

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