While "Let them swallow tainted pharmaceuticals" seems to be the motto of both Health Minister Rona Ambrose and Health Canada, always-vigilant Star readers take issue with such deference to the corporate agenda. Here is just a small sampling of their reactions:
Good thing we have the FDA and the Star to look after our best interests with regards to clinical drug trials. Health Canada appears to just run diversion tactics for the medical profession and big pharma.
Richard Kadziewicz, Scarborough
I really appreciate all of the hard work that David Bruser and Jesse McLean are doing to enlighten and inform us about the irresponsible practices of Health Canada. I’m sure it has been next to impossible to obtain salient information from the government organization that is in place to supposedly protect its citizens but instead have to rely on the FDA.
It begs the question as to why. Are they under-staffed or are they protecting the corporations known as Big Pharma? Like the majority of Canadians I resent and abhor that the products we consume are being produced offshore with apparently little or no quality control. At our peril, the corporations’ only consideration is profit. The eroding job market and our health is of little consequence when their insatiable greed is paramount. It’s obscene.
As a citizen, I don’t know how we fight for accountability. Health Canada exists because of our taxes, this practice is unacceptable. Or are the corporations really the body governing our country?
Vivien C. Buckley, Burlington
Looking at the failure of Health Canada to inform Canadians of the shortcomings of part of our pharmaceutical industry, one comes to two conclusions about Health Canada: it was putting the health of Canadians at risk; and it might as well not have done their regulatory work at all. Exactly the same might be said of the Canadian government agency in charge of inspecting meat processing plants.
How about the work of government scientists studying forestry, fisheries, climate, water quality, economics, environment, national statistics, etc? The Harper government appears to have suggested that their work was solely to inform cabinet decisions. If so, that may explain why the “Harpies” do not allow government scientists to speak publicly about their work.
From my point of view, the tax-cutting Tories would be well advised to close all our scientific establishments. Since they largely ignore the scientific work available to them, and will not let the public see the results either, why do it at all?
Clearly, one should never let the facts trump a good ideology.
Peter Bursztyn, Barrie
The Star has informed its readers of the incompetence by Health Canada in keeping the results of their investigations into pharmaceutical companies a secret from the taxpayers they work for.
Health Canada has become another whore in the Harper government, playing along with again a secret policy of giving information to the public only if it is of benefit to federal government.
When the next Prime Minister replaces this dictatorship after the next election, I hope that he would fire every single manager at Health Canada, no matter what the management rank is, and replace them with contractors hired from the FDA. It seems that only then will we get what we are paying for.
Robert Knight, Toronto
As well, the Star has an editorial in today's issue that offers a good overview of this scandalous issue.