Mr. Barry Moore (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Revenue):
Mr. Speaker, the foetal alcohol syndrome represents the extreme end of the spectrum of adverse birth that comes related to alcohol use and abuse during pregnancy.
Recognition of these problems is relatively recent in part because they are often difficult to diagnose at the time of birth.
It is believed that FAS is more likely to occur in cases of abusive drinking, often combined with poor nutrition and smoking, but no safe level alcohol consumption can be defined for a pregnant women and her foetus.
Health and Welfare Canada has supported a number of initiatives over the past 10 years in this area of concern. They include a national research symposium in 1983, an FAS education package and resource kit in 1989, and most recently the community project Crabtree in Vancouver and many other projects.
April 30, 1992
With respect to the proposal to put warning labels on alcoholic beverages, the minister has already indicated he wants to consult the provinces and the territories. In addition, he has asked his officials to mount a co-ordinated departmental effort to look at the difficult issue of FAS more closely. Also the department looks forward to the report and recommendations of the parliamentary committee currently studying this matter.
Foetal alcohol syndrome is a tragic and complex problem. There are no simple solutions. We look for-
ward to participating with others in addressing this important health and social issue.
Topic: PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION