Sunday, February 25, 2007

CFIA is not banning oilfish even though eating it gives 50% of people diarrhea: We should make them eat it and see what they decide to do

Oil fish is recognized as being barely fit for human consumption. Fifty percent of those who eat it diarrhea. It is commonly mislabelled as other types of fish (which are consumed regularly such as cod). It's banned in Italy and Japan.The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is not banning it in Canada...since it only makes the fifty percent of us with delicate stomachs' sick.
Canadians fall ill after eating mislabelled oily fish
Friday, February 23, 2007
CBC News


Some Canadians have taken ill after eating oilfish, a low-grade fish barely fit for human consumption that may have been mislabelled as cod, the federal food watchdog says...

...The fish is indigestible for about one in every two people, causing diarrhea as a side-effect...[emphasis mine]

...More than 600 people in Hong Kong became ill in January, after eating fish they thought was codfish but was in fact oilfish...

...Now it seems the mislabeled oilfish also turned up at Chinese markets in Canada...

...he Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed it has investigated several cases of diarrhea caused by oilfish that was labelled as something else, such as cod or sea bass...[emphasis mine]

...The mislabelled fish was taken off Canadian shelves but the Canadian Food Inspection Agency did not issue an advisory...

..."The decision to issue a public advisory is made based on the risk posed," said Paul Mayers of the CFIA in Ottawa...

...countries such as Italy and Japan have banned the sale of oilfish because of its gastrointestinal side-effects...

...Health officials in Canada said there is no need to go that far. The CFIA plans to release a consumer fact sheet about oilfish so those with delicate stomachs can try to avoid the fish...


Those with delicate stomachs? Fifty percent of people can not digest this type of fish. It is considered "barely fit for human consumption"

To top it off this fish is being sold as cod or other types of fish. Consumers are not even being given the choice about whether they wish to consume this fish or not.

They've pulled it off the shelves but they haven't issued an advisory. I'm sure a fair amount of it will still be one the shelves (it is difficult to call back all products, especially when there is no advisory, which means it is possible some store owners may not know or may not wish to pull the product and may be able to claim they didn't know).

If Italy and Japan can ban this fish, so could Canada. Given the extensive problem of mislabelling this is something that it is even more important to do. It would give us more powers to stop importations from countries mislabelling the countries.

I think a suitable response would like to require a panel of members of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to eat oil fish. And they should be picked randomly...it seems to me the punishment would fit the crime...and might make them think twice about keeping the fish legal in Canada.P.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Crack Pipe Program In Ottawa In Danger: Come out to protest or publicize the need for the program


I've mentioned the crack pipe program in Ottawa previously. It is now coming up for review in Ottawa during in the city budget. If you live If you live in Ottawa you should consider coming to a protest being organized by the AIDS committee of Ottawa to make it clear the program is continued. Not in Otttawa. Can't make it to the protest? Spread the word about what the program is, and why it should be continued. Nobody's health should be considered more important than anyone else's.


Piping up for crack program


Fearing budget cuts, harm-reduction advocates organize rally
By NELLY ELAYOUBI, SUN MEDIA

Sat Feb 17, 2007

Advocates of Ottawa's crack pipe program plan to make their voices
heard next week when councillors sit down to consider the 2007 budget.

Concern has been growing among advocates of the harm-reduction program, who fear premature cuts will be made to the crack pipe initiative during the budget process -- which will see dozens of delegations plead their cases for funding beginning Monday...

During his election campaign, Mayor Larry O'Brien promised to eliminate the program.

O'Brien wasn't available for comment yesterday, but his spokesman, Mike Patton, said the mayor would be "looking for bigger fish" when it comes to budget savings.

"A Health Issues"

...a rally has been organized by the AIDS Committee of Ottawa (ACO) at City Hall on Monday.

"Larry O'Brien, I imagine, sees this as a legality issue, when, in actual fact, it should be treated as a health issue," said ACO's Nicholas Little.

"Addiction is a question of health, not of criminality."...
[emphasis mine]

Infectious disease rates in men and women injection drug users in Ottawa are among the highest in the country -- 21% for HIV and 76% hepatitis C...

...The report summary shows that 37% of people said they shared crack equipment all the time before the program was introduced. By the end of one year, that figure had dropped to 13%.[emphasis mine]

"That reduces the likelihood that diseases like hepatitis C are being transmitted," said Ottawa's Inner City Health Project executive director, Wendy Muckle...


Let's be clear. You don't need to be a crack user, a drug user or a person with AIDS to be concerned about the continuation of this program. This program helps decrease the spread of disease among people who are already drug users. It hasn't been shown to increase drug use.

The city of Ottawa police have made it clear they detest the crack pipe program. Ottawa police stepping on city's crack pipe program: medical chief This makes it doubly important that support for the program be shown.

Increasingly we are seeing material about how to reduce our chance of getting a illness (such as Diabetees type 2)...and often these are programs that we as taxpayers help fund. It's called preventitive medicine. It's a lot cheaper, and improves the health of citizens to do our best to keep people from getting sick, instead of treating them after. It's called disease prention. And this program is not expensive by. It costs The city's public health department has a $40-million...The crack pipe initiative costs the city $8,000 a year. Why should we not have the same type of programs for drug users? Because they are drug users seems to be the answer...a rather useless tautology, which cares nothing about a person's health, but is judgemental, thinking some people deserve to have access to preventative health measures while others don't.P

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Harper Drops Pond Hockey Puck: too bad he couldn't show up during the International Conference on AIDS

The contrasts between what public events interest Stephen Harper and which don't are interesting. More important, for the public, they are informative on what is considered important by the current government.

Harper didn't turn up when Canada was hosting a international conference on AIDS. I wrote a short piece at the time about Harper's Latest Lame Excuse For Not Attending The International AIDS Conference: I Planned The Trip To Canada's North Months Ago. And the Health Minister did not make any announcements during the conference either.

However Harper apparently can schedule in time to drop a pond hockey puck. More concrete evidence of what this Conservative government considers it's priorities to be.P

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Fun With Words

Some words seem to move between languages. Others don't. The use of Citroen in reference to a car really surprised me Mr Lawson talks about PSA Peugeot Citroen's "well positioned.... mix and technology perspective".

Citroen is fairly close to how you spell lemon in French. In fact I wasn't sure if it was exactly the same or not. According to my Petit Robert it's close but not the same. And none of the definitions of Lemon came close to a dud car. I thought maybe it was used in Quebec and looked it up in a online Quebecois dictionary. No listing.

I'm not bothered by this. I think it's interesting and a bit amusing. Maybe Lemon (for a car that is a dud) isn't used in UK. Or it may be that they aren't worried about all that many British citizens picking up the French.

So many English words make entrance into other languages because English used so much. I'm not sure that is good and i know there are movements against that. I was surprised that the word turned up with regard to a consumer product. I guess the fact that there is a Lemon Party of Canada (Parti Citron) should have alerted me. But if anything i took it to be part of how they named themselves...and with the Lemon Party who knows...

(Le Parti Citron is similar to the Rhinoceros Party of Canada. They didn't run candidates in the last election (they missed the filing date by a day they said, if memory serves), but you they still turn up now and then in Quebec election coverage.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Why Do We Treat Some Lives As Worth More Than Others?

Heather Mallick as cbc.ca has a interesting piece asking why do we treat different addictions differently. She goes on to explore the idea with reference to the Pickton trial. It took years before anyone in power (like the police) starting looking into all the prostitutes that were going missing. If we took the lives of prostitute as seriously as the lives of others, this case would have gone to trial way before there were so many murder charges laid. Why do we, as a society, treat the murders of prostitutes differently than others murders. Because it isn't just in this case. It happens all the time everywhere in Canada.


Warning: inappropriate addiction can be fatal


Heather Mallik

Jan. 26, 2007

...I don't know why reporters are so dismissive when reports of murdered prostitutes come into a newsroom. Alcoholism remains a problem in the media. The only difference between a reporter shaking for some rye and a skeletal young woman on the street on a rainy night is that the reporter can get their fix cheaply at a liquor store.

I can never decide what's worse, to be addicted to something that's readily available and will kill you slowly like booze or cigarettes, or to be hooked on a substance that is hard to find, unreliable and expensive. Alcohol, heroin, crack, they all have a stranglehold on the frail forked human body but with liquor you can cling to your middle-classness for decades. In most provinces, the government sells you your fix in attractive little shops. How sweet...


Everyone should be afforded the same protection of the law. Of course it isn't just prostitutes that are paid less attention to in law. And sometimes they get a lot more attention than they should (people in the escort service don't get charged very often...street prostitutes are hit by the law far more often.

The government just gave a (grudging) one year renewall to a program in Vancouver for a safe injection site.

Vancouver's safe injection site successful: study


Last Updated: Monday, November 20, 2006 5:38 PM ET

Meanwhile, one of Canada's foremost AIDS researchers accused the federal government of being against the injection site, saying he doubts Ottawa wants to hear that it has been having a positive effect...
..."Unfortunately, no matter how many attempts we have made to have an intelligent and educated discussion about this issue, their principles stand in the way of evidence-based decision making," said Montaner.
"And to me, that's unacceptable."


We shouldn't be talking about closing down safe injection sites. we should be asking why there is one in the country. We should be talking about how we can have more safe injection sites in other cities.
We shouldn't have a situation in Ottawa where the

Ottawa police stepping on city's crack pipe program: medical chief


Last Updated: Friday, January 19, 2007 9:52 AM ET

Police are undermining an Ottawa program that has drastically reduced the spread of deadly diseases such as AIDS, says the city's medical officer of health.

Dr. David Salisbury spoke out forcefully Thursday against police who confiscate unused city-issued crack pipes as he addressed the city's Community and Protective Services Committee...

Because the life of an herion addict, a crack addict shouldn't be treated so differently than the life of an alcoholic. Or anyone else's life. There is no question it is and getting medical help is for an addiction is way more difficult than for many other health problems. If you need to be in a hospital for a physical reason they find you a bed. Trying to find a bed for addictions can be very difficult. Why the difference? We should be asking ourselves that.P