Tougher Food, Product Safety Legislation To Protect Canadian Consumers

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the federal government will boost protection for Canadian consumers with a tough and comprehensive overhaul of food and product safety laws. Earlier in the day, the government tabled legislation in the House of Commons designed to improve the safety of food, consumer, and health products in Canada.

"Today's action on consumer safety is good news for Canada. It will improve our safety and our health, make Canadian brands more competitive among global consumers, and boost confidence at home as a country whose product safety standards are second to none," said the Prime Minister.

The legislative package proposes amendments to the Food and Drugs Act as well as a new Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. The changes include a crack down on negligent manufacturers, importers and retailers who knowingly endanger their customers. Public access to information about product safety would also be improved, giving Canadians more control over their own health protection.

Other highlights of the legislation include:

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* 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.

"Good for consumers. Good for the economy. This announcement is a double win for all Canadians," concluded Prime Minister Harper.

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