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Saskatoon: Unit 3, 844-51st St.

East Saskatoon, SK S7K 5C7 Tel (306) 975-4725 Toll free (888) 844-8886 Fax (306) 975-4728 vellacott.mp@shawlink.ca HOUSE OF COMMONS CANADA

Ottawa: Suite 610, Justice Bldg. House of Commons Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6 Tel (613) 992-1899 Fax (613) 992-3085 Vellacott.M@parl.gc.ca www.mauricevellacott.ca

Maurice Vellacott, MP Saskatoon-Wanuskewin

Vellacott supports mandated labelling of alcoholic beverages


Bill passes 2nd reading by huge margin
For Immediate Release February 10, 2005
Ottawa Conservative Party MP Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon-Wanuskewin) joined 124 of his colleagues to pass an alcohol labelling bill yesterday in the House of Commons. Only 27 MPs voted against it. This bill C-206 (sponsor, MP Paul Szabo) would require warning labels regarding the consumption of alcohol to be included on all alcohol beverages that contain more than half of one percent alcohol by volume. The purpose of the bill is to require alcoholic beverages to bear a warning regarding the effects of alcohol on the ability to operate vehicles and machinery and on the health of the consumer, and the possibility of birth defects when consumed during pregnancy. This vote for the bill at 2nd reading sends the legislation to the Parliamentary health committee, where MPs can use public hearings to solicit the help of witnesses to determine the advisability of health warning labels as part of a comprehensive public education strategy on the misuse of alcohol. The misuse of alcohol continues to exact a terrible toll on the lives of Canadians, said Vellacott. If we can improve the education of Canadians on the implications of alcohol abuse, many lives will be saved and public funds for health and justice can be targeted to more productive uses. Maternal consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is the leading known cause of mental retardation in Canada. Thirty to 40% of women consume alcohol during pregnancy. Fifty percent of the inmates in Canadian jails suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome or other alcohol related birth defects. Vellacott says, Fetal alcohol syndrome is a growing but preventable tragedy. There are various other risks associated with the misuse of alcohol. For example, fifty percent of hospital emergencies, 65% of child abuse, 60% of homicides and 45% of motor vehicle collisions. Despite current education programs, far too many Canadians are still abusing alcohol. We need to continue looking for a variety of methods to communicate the risks of alcohol abuse, said Vellacott. There are 19,000 deaths in Canada each year linked to the use of alcohol. I am confident that the Health Committee will seriously study the merits of warning labels on alcoholic beverages, concluded Vellacott. 30 For further information call (613) 992-1966