June 7, 1940

CCF

George Hugh Castleden

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. CASTLEDEN:

It seems to me that

as a result of the recommendation of the Sirois commission, the health of a good many Canadians will depend too largely on the economic condition of their province. I should like to have more information on the way in which the grants are going to be apportioned. I know that in the west, particularly where the crops are light, the health of the people is going to suffer very severely, and is suffering now.

Topic:   G16 COMMONS
Permalink

Item agreed to. Health branch. 238. Food and drugs, $174,565.


NAT
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

It is for the administration of the Food and Drugs Act, which is for the protection of the purchasing consumer by preventing or prohibiting adulteration or misrepresentation in the sale of food and drugs. Food or drugs are misbranded within the meaning of the act if the specific requirements regarding labeling are not observed, or if false claims are made for the article on labels or otherwise. A special section in the act provides for the licensing and control of the manufacture of serums, vaccines and other medicinals of a biological nature. The statute, while it provides for the seizure of adulterated or misbranded stocks and the prosecution of those who merchandize them, is not entirely punitive. Much of the 95826-41

control is exercised by preventive action in which the industry and the trade cooperate. It is only in this way that the enormous volume of these numerous and important commodities can be dealt with.

The services of inspectors and analysts are essential, with laboratory services planned on district lines. The dominion analysts number twenty-three; the inspectors, twenty-seven; laboratories are located in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver, with inspectors at these and other points. This organization follows a definite policy planned to make the best possible use of all available facilities. The four main considerations are: first, to ascertain to what extent there is adulteration or misbranding in foods and drugs of the greatest importance; second, to arrange for correction at the source when adulteration or misbranding is found to exist; third, unless there is a menace to health, the officials of the department are not inclined to make seizures and institute legal proceedings until other methods of persuasion fail; and fourth, to avoid making the small retailer the victim when entering prosecution, unless we find the manufacturer or other party responsible for adulteration operates in such a way that we cannot obtain samples of adulterated stock on his premises. Before entering prosecution in any case, it is made certain that the offender has had previous warning. That is generally speaking the scope of the act.

Topic:   G16 COMMONS
Permalink
NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

Is there any regulation which requires manufacturers of food and drugs to submit samples to the department?

Topic:   G16 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB
NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

It seems to me that the work which has to be done under this vote is tremendous. Is the onus not put on the manufacturer of these goods to submit samples so that they may be examined; or do the inspectors have to go round from place to place and pick up samples, or do they wait until someone makes a complaint? Also, are such places as the Connaught laboratories in Toronto under inspection? There is no need for inspection there, but does inspection take place?

Topic:   G16 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB
NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

Surely that is not necessary. After all, the Connaught laboratories are under the observation of the government of Ontario and the university of Toronto. Are there any other places like that where

Topic:   G16 COMMONS
Permalink

G42 COMMONS


Supply-Health-Food and Drugs we have unnecessary duplication of supervision? I think we should know a little more about this vote along these lines.


LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

There is no provincial responsibility in regard to these particular functions; they are entirely a federal function.

In answer to the first part of the hon. member's question, the inspectors purchase their supplies on the open market. Of course there is a responsibility on the manufacturer and on the vendor; and if complaints are made action is taken, but generally speaking action is taken as a result of inspection and examination by the inspectors purchasing their own supplies.

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

Do these inspections relate mostly to food or drugs?

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

To both equally.

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

I certainly do not think there is any need for having an inspector at the Connaught laboratories in Toronto. I do not think any inspector we could put there would be able to pass on the products turned out by that laboratory as well as the people who are there. Whoever you have there as inspector might very well be transferred to some other job. I wonder whether there are other cases of the same kind. The Connaught laboratory is practically a government-owned institution, and I am certain that they can do all the inspecting that is necessary without having duplication by this government.

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

What my hon. friend says may be quite true. But there is responsibility on the federal authority to carry out these inspections. It casts no reflection on the Connaught laboratories. The inspectors go to any place where it is necessary.

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

Has the Connaught laboratory requested inspection?

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I am informed that that has happened too.

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

Have there been any cases

of false labeling of goods imported from other countries?

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink
LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE (Vancouver Centre):

I am informed that false labeling has been very substantial, about ten per cent at the points of entry.

Topic:   G42 COMMONS
Permalink

June 7, 1940