February 10, 1939

LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

We are endeavouring to obtain control of the disinfectant itself, not the manner in which it is applied, that is to say, the precautions which should be adopted when disinfecting is going on, or after disinfection. I would say that would be almost entirely covered by police or municipal regulations. We would control the strength, if I may put it in non-technical terms, of the material; but I doubt whether this federal department could set up guards to prevent people from going into a house that had been disinfected.

Topic:   FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO BROADEN SCOPE AND CLARIFY CERTAIN FEATURES OF THE ACT
Permalink
CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

But can you say what disinfectant shall or shall not be used for these purposes?

Topic:   FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO BROADEN SCOPE AND CLARIFY CERTAIN FEATURES OF THE ACT
Permalink
LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I hardly think we could; I do not think we have any authority under the act. The word "drug" here includes any

material that may be used for disinfection in premises in which food is manufactured, prepared or kept, or for the control of vermin in such premises. I do not know that we could interefere with the municipal health authorities in their work of disinfecting houses or in the selection of the particular kind of disinfectant which they should use. I am afraid we would not have authority to do that.

Topic:   FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO BROADEN SCOPE AND CLARIFY CERTAIN FEATURES OF THE ACT
Permalink
CON

Howard Charles Green

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GREEN:

Under this section you are taking power to control the material used in premises in which food is kept. Would it not be wise to extend that to cover any premises in which people live?

Topic:   FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO BROADEN SCOPE AND CLARIFY CERTAIN FEATURES OF THE ACT
Permalink
LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I hardly think we could go that far. This control which we wish to exercise is control over certain insect poisons which in appearance resemble food materials. I think it was in Vancouver that an incident occurred not very long ago in which I believe cockroach powder was mistaken for baking powder, and several fatalities resulted. Some of these insect powders resemble starch, baking powder and flour, and we hope to be able to perhaps give instructions to the manufacturers that they must label these insect powders or colour them so that they will not be dangerous. Ordinary insecticides used in agriculture are controlled by the Agricultural Pests Control Act, but that does not cover the poisons employed in households, restaurants, hotels, food warehouses and factories. Certain poisons used for the destruction of rodents are likewise so dangerous to human beings that they should not be employed except in places where there is no possibility of food being contaminated. That is the object, so far as they are concerned.

Topic:   FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO BROADEN SCOPE AND CLARIFY CERTAIN FEATURES OF THE ACT
Permalink
LIB

James Joseph McCann

Liberal

Mr. McCANN:

How does the minister

expect to control the use of these poisons, except through the sale, if they are allowed to be sold?

Topic:   FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO BROADEN SCOPE AND CLARIFY CERTAIN FEATURES OF THE ACT
Permalink
LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Through the sale only, and of course, as I suggested, we might insist that the manufacturers colour these insecticides so that they will have a different appearance from materials used as food.

Topic:   FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO BROADEN SCOPE AND CLARIFY CERTAIN FEATURES OF THE ACT
Permalink

Section agreed to. On section 2-"Medicine", "cosmetic", "manufacture".


LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

Subsection 1 reads:

"Manufacture means manufacture for sale." I do not suppose the intention is that sales to physicians or hospitals should be included. Would it not be better to have this subsection read: "Manufacture means manufacture for sale to the general public"? Any drug may be sold to a physician or hospital, and

Food and Drugs Act

obviously the purpose of the legislation is to protect the public, rather than those who may be presumed to know the character and chemical content of the commodity sold.

Topic:   FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO BROADEN SCOPE AND CLARIFY CERTAIN FEATURES OF THE ACT
Permalink
LIB

Arthur Graeme Slaght

Liberal

Mr. SLAGHT:

Would this subsection prohibit the manufacture of a drug which is being distributed free, the cost of which is being defrayed through philanthropy? I have in mind an instance in which that is being done. I do not propose to mention the drug or the present manufacturers of it, but with the approval of the department this drug has been manufactured for some two and a half years and distributed through physicians only, free in all cases. That has been made possible through the very generous contributions of a philanthropist in Philadelphia, outside this country altogether, and it would seem to me a pity if, perhaps by inadvertence, this amendment should go so far as to make it illegal to continue to manufacture and distribute this product, which in my view, after considerable investigation, has great therapeutic value. The minister may or may not have considered the effect of this subsection in an instance such as I have outlined.

Topic:   FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO BROADEN SCOPE AND CLARIFY CERTAIN FEATURES OF THE ACT
Permalink
LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Some time ago our attention was directed to the matter to which my hon. friend refers, and we in the department had some doubts as to whether we had any authority over the free distribution of products which were still, so to speak, in their experimental stage. We came to the conclusion that it was doubtful whether we had any authority, but in order to make the matter clear the definition herein contained was introduced, which is not the full dictionary value of "manufacture." Taking the full definition, we probably would cover the point raised by my hon. friend, and in fact would go beyond it. Probably we would go into the private business of physicians who compound their own prescriptions, and incidentally, perhaps, charge something for the medicine which they give the patient as well as for their services as physicians. We felt that it would be too much to ask the department to go into that field; therefore we confined ourselves to the words "manufacture for sale," so that if there is no sale involved we have no jurisdiction over the operation.

The hon. member for Essex East (Mr. Martin) has suggested that we extend the definition of "manufacture" to cover manufacture for sale to the general public. Many products which are packaged and sold to physicians carry more or less misleading advertising. In most cases the physician has not the laboratory or instruments at his disposal with which to test the claims made for

a particular product. I should think that a large number of the medical profession would be ready to give the department the right to check up on some of the claims made for certain materials and substances. It would be extremely difficult to have one rule for the physician and hospital and another for the general public. As I have said, many physicians, particularly those in rural districts, have no means of testing these products. We would be assisting them if we could submit some of these materials to laboratory tests in Ottawa or in other parts of the country. For that reason I regret that I cannot agree with the suggestion made by the hon. member for Essex East.

Topic:   FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO BROADEN SCOPE AND CLARIFY CERTAIN FEATURES OF THE ACT
Permalink
IND

James Samuel Taylor

Independent

Mr. TAYLOR (Nanaimo):

I have some doubt as to the definition of "medicine" in subsection (j). It appears to me that if the word "stimulating" were added after the word "restoring" the whole definition would have greater value. The three words now used do not entirely cover the field.

Topic:   FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO BROADEN SCOPE AND CLARIFY CERTAIN FEATURES OF THE ACT
Permalink
LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I imagine that the word

"modifying" would cover "stimulating."

Topic:   FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO BROADEN SCOPE AND CLARIFY CERTAIN FEATURES OF THE ACT
Permalink
IND

James Samuel Taylor

Independent

Mr. TAYLOR (Nanaimo):

"Modifying"

seems to suggest modifying downward rather than upward.

Topic:   FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO BROADEN SCOPE AND CLARIFY CERTAIN FEATURES OF THE ACT
Permalink
LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I have no objection to putting in the word "stimulating" if my hon. friend wants it in, but I do not think it would make any difference. I believe the present definition is broad enough. "Modifying" means to modify either by lessening or by increasing.

Topic:   FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO BROADEN SCOPE AND CLARIFY CERTAIN FEATURES OF THE ACT
Permalink
IND

James Samuel Taylor

Independent

Mr. TAYLOR (Nanaimo):

I do not think there is any word in the definition which definitely covers the meaning of "stimulating." I make that suggestion.

Topic:   FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO BROADEN SCOPE AND CLARIFY CERTAIN FEATURES OF THE ACT
Permalink
LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

Has the minister given consideration to the constitutionality of this whole provision? It will involve some violation of the private property principle of the British North America Act. Has the Department of Justice given consideration to that aspect of it?

Topic:   FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO BROADEN SCOPE AND CLARIFY CERTAIN FEATURES OF THE ACT
Permalink
CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

This is only a definition.

Topic:   FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO BROADEN SCOPE AND CLARIFY CERTAIN FEATURES OF THE ACT
Permalink
LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

I am just using this section as an opportunity of making a comment. As the minister is anxious to cooperate in the matter, will he allow this paragraph (I) to stand?

Topic:   FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO BROADEN SCOPE AND CLARIFY CERTAIN FEATURES OF THE ACT
Permalink
LIB

Charles Gavan Power (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

I have no objection, but I must say to my hon. friend that it will take a lot of argument to convince me that the definition is not a correct one, in view of the purpose sought to be attained by the section.

Food and Drugs Act

Topic:   FOOD AND DRUGS ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENTS TO BROADEN SCOPE AND CLARIFY CERTAIN FEATURES OF THE ACT
Permalink

February 10, 1939