May 27, 1938

LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

So far as the effect on the health of the workers is concerned, I freely admit that this had not been brought to my attention before; but fortunately last year the house was kind enough to give me a little money to set up a division of industrial hygiene, and this question will give the new division something to do. They can look into it, and if I find after their investigations that the use of this improver has some injurious effect on the health of those employed in the industry I shall be only too glad to see what we can do to change the conditions.

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CCF

Charles Grant MacNeil

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

Mr. MacNEIL:

Has the minister not

been advised that among medical men there is a difference of opinion on the subject?

Supply-National Health

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Oh, yes, I am aware of

that.

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CCF

Charles Grant MacNeil

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

Mr. MacNEIL:

And that some medical

men hold the opinion that potassium bromate is injurious.

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

But it is not definitely

established.

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CON

Harry James Barber

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BARBER:

I understand that a considerable percentage of soya bean meal is used by bakers to-day. Would that be considered an adulterant?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF PENSIONS AND NATIONAL HEALTH
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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

No.

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CCF

Charles Grant MacNeil

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

Mr. MacNEIL:

What is the present policy for protecting the public against the use of adulterants? Is it the blanket authority of the act?

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

It is not a blanket authority. Section 4 of the act states:

Food shall be deemed to be adulterated within the meaning of this act

(a) if any substance has been mixed with it so as to reduce or lower or injuriously affect its quality or strength;

(b) if any inferior or cheaper substance has been substituted wholly or in part for the article;

Then section 4 (f) states:

(f) if it contains any added poisonous ingredient, or any ingredient which may render it injurious to the health of the person consuming it, whether added with intent or otherwise; or

(g) if its strength or purity falls below the standard-

That is, below the standard we have laid down. So there is ample authority to prosecute anybody who sells any fraudulent products under the act.

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CCF

Charles Grant MacNeil

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

Mr. MacNEIL:

May I ask if any action will be taken against the milling industry for the use of potassium bromate?

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Not at the moment; it is tolerated.

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CCF

Charles Grant MacNeil

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

Mr. MacNEIL:

Or to regulate the percentage of potassium bromate that may be used in flour for export, particularly to the West Indies, where the percentage used is higher.

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

They are watching it very carefully. Overdosage ruins the bread and does not give the effect they are looking for.

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Item agreed to. Opium and narcotic drugs, $50,780.


CCF

Charles Grant MacNeil

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

Mr. MacNEIL:

Have steps been taken to secure uniformity of regulations throughout the various provinces with regard to the sale

of well known sedatives such as are marketed under the trade names of luminal, nembutal and pheno-barbital derivatives.

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

That was discussed at the health council, and we are endeavouring to have the same kind of legislation applicable generally.

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CON

Grote Stirling

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STIRLING:

What progress is being made with respect to illicit traffic in the ports of British Columbia? Is any improvement indicated?

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

That is a difficult question to answer. I cannot say whether there is any improvement, but we had some very successful prosecutions last year. There were five Japanese, or there was a ring including five Japanese-I believe there were two Canadians in with them-that had been remarkably successful in smuggling narcotics into Canada. They were caught, and a number of them were sentenced to gaol. I am informed that the price of illicit drugs is now higher in British Columbia than it has ever been. This indicates that we are doing something to control the traffic.

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Item agreed to. Quarantine and leprosy, including contribution of $1,000 to the International Bureau of Public Health, $162,065.


CON

Grote Stirling

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STIRLING:

I see there is a slight increase. Would the minister tell us whether the control of leprosy is entirely in the hands of his department or whether he has collaboration from the coast provinces?

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May 27, 1938