Increased Restrictions on Using Carbadox in Canada Expected to be Trade Neutral

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2221. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 17 August 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

Farm-Scape, Episode 2221

Health Canada says proposed regulatory changes that would further restrict the use of Carbadox in Canada are intended to protect the safety of the Canadian food supply and are not expected to have trade implications.

Carbadox, an antibiotic used to protect against swine dysentery, was originally approved in Canada in the early 1970's.

In 2001 Health Canada issued a stop sale order on the product due to human health concerns and now is proposing to include Carbadox in the list of prohibited substances which would mean that any Canadian or imported food products with residues of Carbadox or its metabolite would not be permitted to be sold in Canada.

Dr. Siddika Mithani, the Director General of Health Canada's Veterinary Drugs Directorate, says the bottom line is to ensure the safety of Canadians and the safety of the food supply are not compromised.

"In recent years, the late 80's and early 90's, there were some significant findings in terms of studies that were done in lab animals where it was demonstrated that there might be a potential for carcinogenicity with one of the metabolites of the drug Carbadox and, as a result, Health Canada is looking at ways in which we would be able to further restrict the use of this drug in Canada.

Some of the regulatory amendments or the regulatory action that we are proposing at this point in time is to ensure that there are no Carbadox residues in the food that is consumed in Canada."

Dr. Mithani says the proposed regulatory changes are not expected to have trade implications but the issue will be discussed next week with interested sakeholders.

She notes the bottom line is that safety should not be compromised and, if there are other ways to assure there will not be any Carbadox residues in the food supply in Canada, then that's also something that Health Canada will consider.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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