Proposed consumer safety bill to be “upheaval” for industry September 29, 2010Posted by Dreamhealer in Big Pharma.
New legislation aimed at improving the safety of consumer products will place a major burden on Canadian business and is likely to lead to a surge in class action law suits, one of the country’s leading law firms said on Wednesday.
The Canadian Consumer Product Safety Act was reintroduced in parliament in June as Bill C-36. Two previous attempts to pass the legislation, which has all party backing, failed after parliament was either dissolved or prorogued.
The new law would give Canada’s regulators more powers in dealing with products that could pose a danger to health or safety. They overhaul existing legislation that proved inadequate to deal with high-profile safety scandals in 2007 and 2008 involving lead paint in children’s toys and melamine in infant formula.
While the proposals have the support of consumer groups and political parties, they are likely to have a “dramatic” impact on many players in the chain including suppliers, importers and retailers.
“Bill C-36 will introduce a revolutionary upheaval in product regulation in Canada,” said Peter Pliszka, a partner in Fasken Martineau’s Toronto office. “For the first 140 years of Canadian history these things have not existed from a regulatory perspective.”
The bill proposes strict new reporting rules on businesses. Any supplier will have to report to Health Canada within two days of becoming aware of any problem with a product that may pose a threat to human health. Read More…