Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Health Canada's latest health hypocrisy

Yesterday Health Canada effectively banned cadmium from children's jewelry.


Because if kids accidentally put it in their mouths, cadmium carries with it a number of medical risks.

And of course it should be banned, after all that's what governments are supposed to do with toxins. Here's our Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq's take on a government's role,

"Consumer products that pose a danger to human health or safety may not be manufactured, distributed, imported or sold in Canada. This proposed guideline makes our expectations of industry clear."
Begs the question of course, why then has the government failed to move on trans-fat?

According to the head of Health Canada's own Trans-Fat Task Force, trans-fats are,
"a "toxic" killer that need to be removed from the food chain as soon as possible"
"the longer we wait, the more illness and in fact death will happen, so we know we have to get it out of our food supply"
and that,
"there is no safe amount of trans consumption"
Tony Clement, the then Minister of Health promised in June 2007 (in a speech that Health Canada conveniently no longer hosts on their websites) that if in 2 years a voluntary approach didn't remove the toxin from our food supply, that regulations would be put in place.

And here we are, over 2 years past that overly generous deadline, and Health Canada's banning cadmium, this despite the fact that the toxin kids in Canada are most likely to put into their mouths in Canada is trans-fat (adults too).

If Health Canada actually cared about our health, trans-fats would have been gone back in 2007, no voluntary free pass, and no lip service about potential regulations.

Only reason trans-fat isn't gone is because politically, it's more challenging to do, and at the end of the day Health Canada sadly, apparently cares more about politics than it does about the health of Canadian children.

(What it really means is that there isn't much of a pro-cadmium lobby here in Canada, because if there were, there likely wouldn't have been any announcements made yesterday.)