Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak in support of Bill . This proposed legislation delivers on the Government of Canada's commitment to improve protection for Canadian consumers through stronger product safety laws. Canadians should be confident in the quality and safety of the products they buy.
The proposed Canada consumer product safety act would modernize our system by raising the bar for industry and by improving protection of the public against the few who would act irresponsibly.
Most Canadian companies manufacture, import and sell safe products and yet, some high-profile safety issues related to consumer products have caused concern among Canadians. These include lead found in imported children's toys and small, powerful magnets found in a variety of children's products that have been known to break off and can then be swallowed by a child. Those incidents highlighted the need to improve consumer product legislation.
This proposed legislation addresses the need to modernize part I of the Hazardous Products Act, an act that has not been amended since its introduction in the late 1960s. Much has changed in the past four decades. Globalization has meant that many consumer goods available in Canada are now manufactured in countries with lower standards for consumer health and safety. Technology has also had an impact. Many of today's consumer goods contain elements and compounds unheard of 40 years ago. So, over time, the safety net that Canadian consumers have come to expect is not as broad as it could or should be.
Allow me to detail a few of the gaps that exist in the current Hazardous Products Act.
It contains no general prohibition against supplying unsafe consumer products that pose an unreasonable danger. It provides only limited authority to detect and identify unsafe products at an early stage. It does not allow government to respond rapidly to unregulated products or hazards. It does not contain the power for government to recall flawed products when a company is unco-operative or slow in doing so.
In short, the existing act needs to be strengthened. Bill , the proposed Canada consumer product safety act, would do just that.
The proposed new act would make it an offence to supply products that pose an unreasonable danger to human health or safety. It would expand the scope of legislation to cover the manufacture of consumer products. It would introduce mandatory reporting of incidents, requiring industry to report when it has knowledge of a serious accident or incident, even if that incident has not caused harm. This would provide an early warning mechanism to allow government to act.
The proposed new act would give the government the authority to require manufacturers and importers to provide results from tests or studies on products. Packaging or labels on products which are false, misleading or deceptive as they relate to health or safety would be prohibited under the proposed legislation. It would require industry to keep detailed records so products could be traced through their supply chain.
The proposed legislation would also introduce an order power so inspectors could require suppliers to recall or take other corrective measures, as well as to take quick action when the supplier failed to do so.
Finally, the proposed act seeks to put in greater deterrents. Fines and penalties would be significantly increased. Maximum fines of up to $5 million would be in place for some offences, while others would have a maximum that would be left to the court's discretion.
We believe these provisions would give Canadian consumers the protection they deserve and expect when they purchase goods ranging from toys to household goods.
There are several groups of consumer products that are regulated by other acts and would not be subject to the proposed legislation. For example, natural health products, which are regulated by a section of the Food and Drugs Act, would not be subject to this proposed legislation. Some stakeholders have expressed confusion about this. As a result, the has written the chair of the health committee to inform her that our government would be moving forward with an amendment to this bill, making it clear that this proposed legislation would not affect natural health products.
Coupled with other initiatives under the food and consumer safety action plan, this proposed act seeks to provide Canadians with a comprehensive scheme for safer consumer products, responsible suppliers across the board and better informed consumers.
This government takes consumer safety seriously and we are taking action. Canadians look to the federal government to show leadership in enhancing the safety of consumer products in this new global marketplace and we are responding.
This proposed new legislation has been developed in consultation with numerous stakeholders and also reflects input made during the discussion on former Bill in the second session of the 39th Parliament. After 40 years, it brings Canadian consumer protection up to date and provides the same level of protection enjoyed by residents of other countries.
As well, by raising the strength of our product safety system up to the level of our major trading partners, we are safeguarding our marketplace against the risk of becoming a dumping ground for substandard products.
The lowest price can be alluring for consumers and even more so in tough economic times. As a result, we can expect industry to cut corners where it can. Bill would help prevent any shortcuts on safety. We need the improvements proposed in Bill C-6 now more than ever before.
With the support of members of the House, consumers and businesses will reap the benefits. We have created the ideal package of consumer protection by combining measures to improve prevention, monitor high risk products and act swiftly if a dangerous product enters the supply chain.
Canadians deserve to have confidence when they buy products at their local store. I trust that all members will agree and will join us in supporting Bill .
Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for for sharing his time with me today.
I rise in support of Bill , the government's proposed new legislation to better protect consumers from products that might be dangerous to their health or safety. These are improvements that Canadians want and need. They will make a safe marketplace even safer.
We need to adapt our legislation to reflect the changes in the world's changing economy. Products are now being manufactured in places where product safety may not be the high priority that it is to Canadians. We cannot necessarily rely upon those manufacturers and their host countries to adopt a standard acceptable to Canadians.
Whether they come from outside or within Canada, our government needs modern tools to help shield Canadians from flawed or dangerous goods. We have a mandate to work to protect our citizens from harm, no matter where a consumer product comes from.
Changing our consumer product legislation will help maintain Canada's position as one of the best countries in the world in which to live. The world's economy is going through a challenging time. As the world's manufacturers compete for shrinking markets, the temptation for unscrupulous manufacturers will be to cut costs at the expense of the safety of the goods that they produce.
Whether the stream of faulty products is a trickle or a flood, we need to be ready, and this proposed legislation will give us the base we need to stem the flow. While we invest in stimulating the economy, we need to continue to invest in ways to keep us safe from dangerous consumer products. Bill would help us do that.
Our government has invested $113 million over two years to support the action plan to modernize and strengthen Canada's system for food, consumer products and health products. The plan is built on three elements: first, active prevention, to avoid as many problems as possible before they arise; second, targeted oversight, to closely monitor consumer products that pose a higher risk to health and safety; and third, a rapid response so we can take action more quickly and effectively on problems that do occur.
I would now like to elaborate on these three elements.
The first aim of the proposed legislation before this House is to improve prevention. Bill would establish a general prohibition against manufacturing, importing, advertising or selling consumer products that pose unreasonable dangers to human health and safety.
Importantly, I should mention that the natural health products are exempt from the proposed consumer product safety act, as they have their own regulatory framework under the Food and Drugs Act. Some stakeholders have expressed confusion about this. As a result, the has written to the chair of the health committee to inform her that our government will be moving forward with an amendment to this bill making it clear that it will not affect our natural health products.
Second, Bill targets products that pose the highest risk for oversight. It proposes to allow the minister to require commercial manufacturers and importers to provide safety test and study results for their products. Suppliers would be required to provide reports regarding any serious incidents and defects involving their products, including near misses, and the manufacturer or importer would need to provide a detailed report, including its plan of action to respond.
Industry is already subject to mandatory reporting in the European Union and the United States. Therefore, Bill would bring us up to the same standard as two of our most significant trading partners. Suppliers would also be required to keep detailed information about the sources and destinations of their products to help track products that need to be recalled.
Third, the proposed legislation will give us new tools to help us respond to problems as rapidly as possible. Governments could require companies to pull unsafe consumer products from the shelves as soon as the problem is discovered, and we would also have the power to act swiftly if the supplier fails to do so.
Will Bill , we are also seeking to raise fines to levels that are similar to those in other industrialized countries. The financial penalties must be serious and a deterrent to those who might risk human health and safety. For example, the maximum fine under the Hazardous Products Act is now set at $1 million. With this proposed bill now before the House, the maximum fine would be raised to $5 million for some offences and possibly higher fines at the discretion of the courts for other offences.
However, we will not rely on this proposed legislation alone. Laws and fines are an important part of the solution but not the only solution. We will be working with other countries to promote safe manufacturing processes. We will work with our own industry to improve awareness of health and safety issues in the manufacturing process.
It bears mentioning that our current safety system has served us well and the vast majority of Canadian manufacturers, importers and other providers and suppliers provide safe products, but our current consumer product legislation was drafted in 1969. We are now part of a global economy and a global marketplace. We need to modernize our system to meet the new reality and to safeguard against the very few who do act irresponsibly.
Our Hazardous Products Act has not been thoroughly reviewed in 40 years and it needs to be modernized. Without new legislation Canada risks becoming a dumping ground for the world's unsafe products. This is not the future we want for Canada's marketplace.
The proposed legislation will give our inspectors the power they need to get unsafe products out of the marketplace before they get to the homes of Canadians. Improving health and safety is in everyone's interest and so I urge my fellow members to vote in favour of Bill .
Mr. Speaker, today I rise in the House to support Bill .
Albert Schweitzer, doctor, philosopher and Nobel Prize winner, warned that “Man has lost the capacity to foresee and forestall. He will end by destroying the earth”.
I would like to give the House a lesson in history regarding a product and a devastating disease.
Animal slaughterhouse wastes have been recycled into animal feed since the beginning of the 20th century. In the mid-1970s, the U.S. department of agriculture decided that carcasses of sheep afflicted with the disease scrapie should not be used in animal or human foods. Tragically, the U.K. government decided that its industry should be left to decide how its equipment should be operated. It was not until 1996 that processing standards were introduced.
In the United States, government oversight and relatively inexpensive restrictions may have prevented the mad cow epidemic. In the United Kingdom, industry self-policing provided ideal conditions for the development of the progressive, fatal disease that affects the brain.
Reducing risks to health has been a preoccupation of people, physicians, and politicians for the last 5,000 years.
Virtually every major advance in public health has involved the reduction or the elimination of risk, with the result being that the world is a safer place today. It is safer from accidents, deadly or incurable diseases and safer from hazardous consumer goods.
Therefore, it is the government's duty to do all it reasonably can to accurately assess and reduce risks, such as making sure that food, medicines and other products are safe.
Although government can rarely hope to reduce risks to zero, it can aim to lower them to a more acceptable level and should openly and transparently communicate risk and risk reduction strategies to the public.
The Canadian government introduced Bill on January 26, 2009, to ensure, through regulation, that risk is reduced and that Canadians have access to safer consumer products.
The bill is important because it would fill many regulatory gaps and give government the power to issue recalls and raise fines. Companies and their directors, officers and employees may be held criminally liable for contravention and penalized up to $5 million.
The bill would prohibit the manufacture, importation, advertising and sale of a consumer product that is a danger to human health or safety, is the subject of a recall or does not meet the regulatory requirements that apply to the product.
The bill would require that all persons who manufacture, import or sell a consumer product for commercial purposes maintain documents identifying from whom they obtained the product and to whom they sold it, and provide regulators with all related information within two days of becoming aware of an incident. These mechanisms will help ensure that products can easily be removed from store shelves when a recall is made.
Bill would also give regulators the power to order manufacturers and importers to conduct tests on a product, to provide documents related to those studies and to compile any information required to confirm compliance.
The bill also would give inspectors new wide-ranging powers, including the power to order a recall if they believe, on reasonable grounds, that a consumer product is a danger to human health or safety. These powers may be invoked even when there is a lack of full scientific certainty.
This is a strength of the bill, as scientific standards for demonstrating cause and effect are extremely rigorous and often time-consuming, substantial damage to humans may result during long testing. For example, many experts strongly suspected that smoking caused lung cancer long before overwhelming proof became available. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of smokers died waiting for a definitive answer. Thousands of others, however, quit smoking because they suspected, as there were 7,000 articles by 1964, that tobacco probably caused lung cancer.
When a product raises threats of harm to human health, precautionary methods should be taken, even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.
Perhaps the following questions might be asked at committee. Why does the bill not phase out or ban known carcinogens and other toxic chemicals in consumer products? Why does the bill not create a mandatory testing and labelling scheme? Does the bill go far enough to protect the health of Canadians from toxic imports? Will the government dedicate the necessary resources to enforce the bill?
The United Steelworkers remind us that, “recalls and fines all happen after the fact. Canada needs a strategy that repairs...trade deals that have led to toxic imports crossing our border in the first place”, such as in 2007, when millions of Chinese made toys were recalled by both the EU and the U.S. The European Commission subsequently identified over 1,600 products that were considered risky.
We live in an increasingly chemical society. Toxic chemicals are found in everyday consumer products, including art supplies, kitchenware, personal products, pet food, toys, water bottles and many products intended for babies.
When researchers test the air in our homes, the average readings for volatile organic compounds increase in areas where cleaners are stored. CBC's Marketplace showed Pledge registered 273 parts per billion, Clorox wipes more than 1,000 parts per billion. Anything over 500 parts per billion could be a problem for people with sensitivities. Lysol's disinfecting spray, however, recorded 1,200 parts per million, or 1,000 times higher than the Clorox.
Experts do not know how dangerous these chemicals might be, but they are starting to worry. Dr. Gideon Koren, a pediatrician at the Hospital for Sick Children, asks, “How can we, as one of the most advanced countries in the world, allow these to enter our household for small children, without the appropriate testing to see that it's safe?”
Young children are especially vulnerable because they virtually live on the floor. Everything goes into their mouths, and their basic body systems are still developing.
We cannot continue to repeat the key mistake of the past, namely, responding late to early warnings as we did with benzene and PCBs.
Ever since anemia was diagnosed among young women engaged in the manufacture of bicycle tires in 1897, benzene was known to be a powerful bone marrow poison. Recommendations made in the U.K. and the U.S. in the 1920s for substitution of benzene with less toxic solvents went unheeded. Benzene-related diseases of the bone marrow continued to increase dramatically through the first half of the 20th century. Benzene was not withdrawn from consumer products in the U.S. until 1978, and this was done by manufacturers on a voluntary basis.
A chief medical inspector of factories wrote in 1934, “Looking back in the light of present knowledge, it is impossible not to feel that opportunities for discovery and prevention of disease were badly missed”.
As we continue to debate the bill, let us ensure that in 2034, future generations do not lament missed opportunities.
I would like to share my time, Mr. Speaker, with the member for .
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today on Bill .
This enactment modernizes the regulatory regime for consumer products in Canada. It creates prohibitions with respect to the manufacturing, and especially the advertising, selling, importing, packaging and labelling of consumer products that are a danger to human health or safety.
The purpose of this bill is to make it easier to identify a consumer product that may be a danger and to more effectively prevent or address the danger.
The Liberal Party has always had a commitment to improving the health and safety of Canadians. We will continue to support measures which reinforce the regulatory process in order to be sure that Canadians are consuming healthy products.
The purpose of Bill is to protect the public by addressing or preventing dangers posed to human health or safety by consumer products that are circulated within Canada and those that are imported.
The bill was first introduced as Bill in the 39th Parliament and was part of the package that also included Bill , which dealt specifically with natural health products. While Bill C-51 was considered contentious legislation, Bill C-52, now Bill , was generally more accepted by stakeholders, but I do not have to tell the government that this is still hugely problematic to many stakeholders.
An analysis of the bill makes evident that the current consumer products safety system functions on a voluntary basis. If a product is dangerous or poses a health threat, the corporations can issue a recall. The new would bill prohibit the sale, import, manufacturing, packaging, labelling and advertising of consumer products that might pose a risk to consumers. While voluntary recalls will continue to happen, inspectors named under the act or by the minister will now be able to order the recall of a consumer product.
The proposed bill will give substantial regulating powers to the minister. It will be necessary to further study these powers to ensure transparency, effectiveness and accountability. It also requires further study to ensure that it can be implemented effectively.
Increased numbers of inspectors will have to be named by the minister and we need to ensure that the human resources and funding are available to do the job properly.
As with Bill , I will be proposing an amendment at the committee stage, instructing the to consult with an expert advisory committee with a mandate to give public advice before the minister can restrict access to a product.
We have been hearing from many stakeholders who are concerned that will negatively affect access to natural health products.
The Liberal Party has a deep conviction that Canadians have a fundamental right to make their own choices as far as looking after themselves and remaining in good health are concerned, and that we must guarantee them access to those choices. We have no intention of limiting the consumption, sale and distribution of safe natural products. On the contrary, we wish to promote and protect the health and safety of Canadians and improve our regulations so that they may have access to the foods, remedies and consumer products that are the healthiest and most effective.
That is why we asked the minister to submit Bill to the appropriate committee of the House of Commons before second reading. This would have provided answers to most of the questions raised in your letter. Unfortunately, the minister refused to do so.
I am concerned, yet again, that the proper stakeholder consultations did not take place with regard to Bill as with Bill . It was clear during the Bill C-11 hearings that the key stakeholders were not consulted properly during the drafting of the bill. As we know information sessions are very different to meaningful consultations.
We have already heard concerns from key stakeholders that Bill needs an amendment to deal with tobacco manufacturers and another amendment regarding hazardous substances and toxic chemicals, as the member for so eloquently put forward.
We have been transparent with the Department of Health and provided it with copies of these proposed amendments and will insist that they are included in a future bill.
If this was to be a repeat of Bill , where information sessions were substituted for meaningful consultation, I hope the government has learned its lesson and will make the appropriate government amendments and bring back the witnesses with the most serious concerns and ensure the bill, as amended, would be acceptable to them.
In any bill we need to ensure that Parliament is able to do its job to develop the best pieces of legislation possible, which requires thorough stakeholder dialogue and input.
As I said, the Liberal caucus has asked that the bill be brought to the committee before second reading so it would be possible to make substantial changes as asked for by the stakeholders. We will reluctantly support the bill going to committee after second reading, but we want Canadians to be assured that we will be continuing to be vigilant in the study of Bill as it enters the health committee, as we had successful changes with Bill .
It is very important that politicians do the politics, that scientists do the science and that the transmission of information from the scientists to the politician is done in a way in which citizens of Canada are included in the decision.
Mr. Speaker, I rise this afternoon as the Bloc Québécois health critic to address Bill , an act respecting the safety of consumer products, which was introduced by the at first reading in this House on January 29, 2009.
I will read the summary of this bill.
|| This enactment modernizes the regulatory regime for consumer products in Canada. It creates prohibitions with respect to the manufacturing, importing, selling, advertising, packaging and labelling of consumer products, including those that are a danger to human health or safety. In addition, it establishes certain measures that will make it easier to identify whether a consumer product is a danger to human health or safety and, if so, to more effectively prevent or address the danger. It also creates application and enforcement mechanisms. This enactment also makes consequential amendments to the Hazardous Products Act.
The very least we can say is it is about time. In fact, we have known since November 2006, because of a report tabled by the Auditor General, that there are problems and that urgent action is needed. Those responsible for the safety of consumer products were not given or no longer had the means to effectively carry out their duties. Nevertheless, we have had to wait more than two years to debate, in this House, at second reading, Bill on consumer products.
I would just like to give a bit of background. As I said, we waited far too long before we could debate this bill in this House. Canada currently does not require that manufacturers of hazardous products under its jurisdiction, such as cosmetics, cradles, tents and carpets, test their products or prove that they do not pose any threat to consumer health and safety. As a result, consumers would not have any real protection against incidents like the one that forced the recall of a number of products some time ago. Many parents feared the worst and, with the approach of the holiday season and other gift-giving occasions, wondered whether what was on the shelves in stores was safe and what precautions they should take to make sure that what they were buying for their beloved children was hazard-free.
In December, after four months of inertia in the wake of the first toy recall in the summer of 2007, the government finally proposed to introduce a bill early in 2008 and to change its strategy for regulating product safety.
This inaction created a real feeling of insecurity, especially around toy purchases. You could feel it when you listened to consumers talking about product safety on radio and TV and read their letters in the papers.
But it is important to point out that instead of introducing a bill quickly, the government decided last fall to post a survival guide online to help parents protect their children's safety. In late November, it launched a personal test kit consumers could use to determine the safety of consumer products themselves. This is a government that is clearly abandoning its responsibility for product safety.
It made consumers and parents responsible for making sure that the goods they buy are safe for their families and children. The government should be responsible for making sure that consumer products are safe, but it abdicated its responsibilities the moment it put that guide online.
However, as I said at the beginning of my remarks, in November 2006, the Auditor General of Canada warned the government about concerns involving dangerous consumer products. These concerns were expressed by program managers. Chapter 8, Allocating Funds to Regulatory Programs—Health Canada, clearly indicated that product safety program managers could not do their jobs properly for a number of reasons. I will read points 8.21 and 8.22 of the Auditor General's November 2006 report.
|| Product safety program managers considered many of their regulatory activities to be insufficient to meet their regulatory responsibilities. We found these opinions were confirmed in an internal study of the program's resource needs, documents relating to resource allocation, and in interviews conducted as part of our audit.
|| The product safety program has requested additional funding, but it received very little funds for special initiatives in 2005-06 to address the shortfalls presented above. Program managers indicated that their inability to carry out these responsibilities could have consequences for the health and safety of Canadians, such as exposure by consumers to non-compliant hazardous products. There is also a risk of liability to the Crown.
Because of the Auditor General's report, the Government of Canada has known since November 2006 about the risk to consumers resulting from inadequate program funding. This raises a number of concerns about the government's real desire and commitment to move forward. However, now that we have Bill , we need to take a closer look and pass it at second reading so that we can hear from stakeholders in committee without delay.
I therefore encourage all of my colleagues to proceed appropriately with the second reading examination of this bill, not only here in the House but also at the report stage in the Standing Committee on Health. As colleagues have done before me, I would encourage all stakeholders, as well as all colleagues here in the House, to give us their views and any clarifications in order to ensure that Bill is as effective as possible and that lack of consumer safety will be, no longer the rule, but the exception, and a rare exception at that.
Essentially, this bill comprises five measures, which I shall present to my colleagues and to all those listening this afternoon to this debate on second reading.
I will give a brief overview of the five measures aimed at reversing the burden of proof concerning safety.
First of all, there is the safety of consumer products. As I said, currently, no constraints are imposed on manufacturers or importers. They do not have to prove that their products are not dangerous and do not pose a threat to consumer safety. Bill is intended to reverse this. In future it will be up to the manufacturer to prove to us that the products offered to consumes are without danger.
The bill also proposes forcing manufacturers and importers of consumer products to test the safety of their products regularly, and, most importantly, to disclose the test results in order to ensure maximum transparency.
The bill would also require businesses to report all measures taken or illnesses caused because of their products, whatever the country. This puts the onus on manufacturers and importers, because it forces them to prove that their products are safe,
The second measure has to do with increasing inspectors' powers. As the Auditor General stated in a report, in order to ensure that this bill is implemented and effective, inspectors on the ground will have more powers when Bill comes into force.
For that to happen, consumer products will have to be subject to recall, relabelling or a licensing amendment. These inspectors will be the means to enforce this bill's most important provisions.
It is important to point out, however, that increased duties and responsibilities can raise a certain number of concerns and questions. As part of the committee's review of this bill, it will be important to confirm whether there are enough human resources to ensure that the strict measures outlined in Bill can be properly monitored and enforced across Canada.
This bill also gives the minister new powers concerning recalls. At this time, health authorities do not have the power to recall consumer products found to be dangerous. Recalls are issued on a voluntary basis by manufacturers and importers themselves. This bill would give the minister the power to recall any products that are defective or endanger consumer safety. However, the regulations will stipulate the requirements and the conditions under which the minister can act. In committee, it will also be important to look at how this recall power can be executed.
There are also stricter punitive measures that will provide a greater deterrence. At this time, for instance, the fines imposed are usually around $5,000. With Bill , an offence could lead to a fine of up to $5 million for the company at fault, and people caught red-handed could face up to two years in prison.
Lastly, Bill will introduce product traceability. The bill includes a record-keeping requirement that could be compared to a traceability process, as I said earlier. With this record-keeping system, we will be able to determine the product's history and quickly track down retailers who have the product, as well as its origin.
In addition, if an incident occurs here or elsewhere in the world, the manufacturer or importer is required to notify the minister, which will allow the authorities to more efficiently remove products that could pose problems.
I would also like to share a few comments, and we will have the opportunity to come back to this in committee and further question the officials who drafted the bill, as well as the . In the preamble—it is unusual to spend any time on the preamble, because we spend much more time on the clauses of the bill—there is a definition that approaches the precautionary principle. It would be interesting to know what the government's real intention behind this statement is, with regard to enforcing the legislation.
I would simply like to read part of the preamble into the record:
|Whereas the Parliament of Canada recognizes that a lack of full scientific certainty is not to be used as a reason for postponing measures that prevent adverse effects on human health if those effects could be serious or irreversible;
The preamble also contains a general statement about the relationship between consumer goods and the environment:
|| Whereas the Parliament of Canada recognizes that, given the impact activities with respect to consumer products may have on the environment, there is a need to create a regulatory system regarding consumer products that is complementary to the regulatory system regarding the environment;
Outside of the preamble, the environment is only mentioned in clauses 16 and 17 of the bill in connection with disclosure of personal information. It will be interesting to ask the government about its intentions.
Would the government like to go a little bit further in the regulations and impose more environmental requirements?
We can come back to that. With regard to regulations, Bill contains a number of measures that can be taken by the minister by regulation. Thus, the regulatory powers are expanded and it will be interesting to see in committee how the minister will use this discretionary power and what limits will be placed on this power.
In closing, I would simply like to say that the industry cannot be allowed to be self-regulated. There have been a number of cases in the food industry, not covered by this bill, demonstrating that self-regulation alone cannot address all problems.
We have to give some teeth to the bill and some powers to the inspectors responsible for enforcing it.