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Cablegate: Canada Takes Precautionary Action Against Bpa

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PP RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHOT #0546 1092027
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 182027Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7724
INFO RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEAEPA/EPA WASHDC
RUEHPS/USMISSION OECD PARIS
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 1809
RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS OTTAWA 000546

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/CAN, EEB, OES

DHHS FOR OFFICE OF GLOBAL HEALTH AFFAIRS

EPA FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

STATE PASS FDA INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

COMMERCE FOR 4310/MAC/ONA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD TBIO SENV EAGR EIND CA
SUBJECT: Canada Takes Precautionary Action against BPA
Ref Ottawa 538

1. Summary: Canada announced it will take precautionary actions
against bisphenol A (BPA), including a ban on the importation, sale
and advertising of polycarbonate baby bottles. The details will be
published on April 19 in the Canada Gazette, and will be available
for public comment until June 18. Official designation of BPA as a
"Toxic" under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act may come in
the autumn. Embassy anticipates continuing need for guidance
requested reftel. End summary.

2. As expected, on April 18 Canada's Minister of Health, Tony
Clement and Minister of the Environment, John Baird announced Canada
will take "precautionary" actions to regulate bisphenol A (BPA), a
chemical widely used in plastics. On April 19 the government will
publish a proposed plan in the Canada Gazette I to manage the
chemical, with the emphasis being a ban on the importation, sale and
advertising of polycarbonate baby bottles. The plan will be open
for public comment from April 19 to June 18, 2008. According to
technical experts from Health Canada and Environment Canada, after
the public comment period there will be a four month period when the
Minister of Health and Minister of Environment will jointly assess
the additional information presented and make a final determination
whether BPA should be listed as a "Toxic" substance under the CEPA,
and whether the proposed ban should be implemented. Officials with
the two ministries expect that it would take an additional six
months after that (to accommodate administrative reviews, public
comment periods and so on) before the ban could actually come into
force.

3. Despite a very narrow product focus, this action by Canada (the
first country in the world to invoke a health-related ban regarding
BPA) may precipitate additional widespread public concern in both
Canada and the United States. In anticipation of the official
announcement, Wal-Mart Canada and other major retailers have pulled
many plastic food containers, water bottles and baby products from
their shelves.

4. Embassy will assess the detailed proposal for the ban after it is
made available on Saturday April 19. We anticipate that media
guidance as requested reftel will still be required.

Wilkins

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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