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Policy

New Laws Proposed In Canada

April 14, 2008 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 86, ISSUE 15

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper last week announced plans to overhaul his nation's food, drug, and product safety laws. Harper's legislative package, delivered to the House of Commons on April 8, would modernize the existing Food & Drugs Act and create a new Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. Proposed changes to the Food & Drugs Act would require makers of pharmaceuticals and other health products to provide results of government-specified tests to demonstrate that a product remains safe and effective once it is on the market. It would also allow regulators at Health Canada to share data, including confidential business information, when appropriate, with other regulatory agencies and the public. Harper's proposed product safety law would prohibit the manufacture, advertisement, or sale of consumer products that are a danger to human health or safety. It would require suppliers to maintain accurate records of the sources of their products and would give regulators the power to pull unsafe consumer products from retailers' shelves and to order recalls. "We welcome this federal initiative and look forward to working with the federal government on this important project," says Shannon Coombs, president of the Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association.

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