March 10, 1948 (20th Parliament, 4th Session)

LIB

Ralph Maybank (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. MAYBANK:

The food and drugs division, the proprietary or patent medicine division and the advertising and labels division of the department have been combined and organized as a directorate for the following reasons:
1. Administrative reasons:
A. The work of the food and drugs division and the advertising and labels division overlaps because-
(a) Both divisions were established to enforce provisions of the Food and Drugs Act. The Food and Drugs Act deals, among other
things, with adulteration and misbranding and false, misleading or exaggerated claims for foods or drugs. Its provisions cannot be completely and easily divided into two parts, one dealing solely with advertising and labels and the other with adulteration or health measures. The limits of the duties of the two divisions cannot, therefore, be clearly defined. Confusion from their activities can only be prevented through direction by a single authority.
(b) The Food and Drugs Act was designed, as evidenced by its wording and arrangement as well as its history, to be administered by one authority, the chief dominion analyst, who is mentioned in the act. The food and drugs division under the chief dominion analyst was organized for this purpose and has the necessary laboratory and inspection services. Punitive or corrective action in respect to improper labels and advertising can only be instituted in many cases after collection of an official sample by the inspection services and analyses by the laboratory. Much of the work on advertising and labels must, therefore, be carried out through the food and drugs division unless parallel services were to be established in the advertising and labels division. Such a situation could be a potential source of confusion and conflicting authority.
(c) The Food and Drugs Act necessarily places restrictions on trade. These restrictions must be uniformly enforced throughout the country, and those on advertising and label claims must be correlated with the composition of the products andi vice versa. Correlation and uniformity can be most efficiently obtained through one authority: i.e. by bringing the two divisions into one directorate.
(d) Much of the work of examining advertising and labels in a locality must be carried out by the inspectors and1 offices of the food and drugs division; another case of overlapping work.
B. The work of the proprietary or patent medicine division is closely related to the work of both the food and drugs division and the advertising and labels division.
(a) The Proprietary or Patent Medicine Act deals with secret formula remedies. These contain ingredients which are under the authority of the Food and Drugs Act. It is necessary that claims made for secret formula remedies, on the basis of these ingredients do not exceed or be essentially different from those made for the same substances under the Food and Drugs Act. This requires a careful and close correlation of the work of the proprietary or patent medicine division and the advertising and labels division.
Questions

(b)1 The analysis of patent medicines is carried out in the laboratories of the food and drug division. The collection of samples of patent medicines for official examination is made by inspectors of the food and drugs division. These activities require correlation of the proprietary or patent medicine division and the food and drugs division.
2. Reasons of economy:
(a) 1 Since both proprietary or patent medicine division and advertising and labels division require inspection and laboratory services and these already exist in the food and drugs division, the use of the existing services for all three divisions make for economy and efficiency.
(b) Economies can also be effected in clerical staffs.
(c) The inspection services of the food and drugs division require the supervision of a senior administrative officer and this function has been given to the chief of advertising and labels.
3. Reasons of enforcement:
It is highly desirable that the trade and public have one closely knit group to deal with in the matter of food and drug laws and enforcement rather than three separate independently acting divisions.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   HEALTH AND WELFARE-FOOD AND DRUGS DIVISION
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