GS1 Canada Applauds the Harper Government for Prioritizing Food, Product and Consumer Safety GS1 Canada Applauds the Harper Government for Prioritizing Food, Product and Consumer Safety
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GS1 Canada Applauds the Harper Government for Prioritizing Food, Product and Consumer Safety

TORONTO, ON, April 9, 2008 - GS1 Canada, Canada’s neutral, not-for-profit association in the development of global standards for electronic business and supply chain processes, strongly supports the federal legislation introduced yesterday by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to strengthen food and product safety laws. 

GS1 Canada commends Prime Minister Harper for making consumer and patient safety a top priority for his government,” commented N. Arthur Smith.  “This is an area that deserves and demands an ongoing focus in order to ensure that Canadians have the strongest systems and modern processes in place to protect them and their families. 

The government’s proposed new Canada Consumer and Product Safety Act, and the amendments to the Food and Drugs Act appropriately prioritize active prevention, encouraging consumers and providing guidance to industry on improving safety throughout their supply chains through a focus on prevention.  Simply put, supply chain management involves every interaction from when a product is manufactured, through to its end use by a consumer. Today, this is most efficiently managed through the use of automatic product identification technologies, including bar codes and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) product tags, and is most effective when each partner within the supply management chain is using the same method of coding information – or ‘standard’ – for each product. 

Countries around the world have made food, consumer and patient safety a high policy priority by supporting efficient and modern technology systems and processes that allow for ongoing vigilance of food and consumer products,” stated Smith.  “The legislation proposed by the Government of Canada recognizes the important role Canada occupies within the global marketplace and the opportunity it has to serve as a world leader in the protection of consumer and patient safety.”  

Consistent with the Government of Canada’s consumer product safety priorities, the use of global standards for automatic product identification would allow for industry-based consumer and patient safety systems that are interoperable with global systems, critically important as products assembled in Canada often include components that have been created internationally.

GS1 Canada also supports the Government of Canada in their prioritization of the healthcare sector as one for particular focus.  In recognition of the critical importance of patient protection, GS1 Canada’s healthcare sector strategy is designed to advance the development of global standards to enable a safe, sustainable and efficient healthcare system in Canada.  Ensuring that Canada has a modern system of standards is an instrumental step to improve patient safety and the efficiency of the entire healthcare supply chain.  Most manufacturers of healthcare products are global producers, meaning that proprietary or country-specific standards are insufficient for supply chain or patient safety practices; the use of consistent, global standards in Canada for automatic product identification will help Canadian healthcare institutions to authenticate pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device products, and allow them to effectively and quickly target, recall and withdraw products as necessary. 

“GS1 Canada supports the government’s goal of being a best practice jurisdiction when it comes to product safety standards,” added Smith.  “We owe it to Canadians to ensure that strong safety standards and systems are in place, using all of the technology tools at our disposal, so that we can quickly and efficiently track and trace both domestic and imported products across integrated supply chains in all sectors.  This legislation is a positive step in that direction.”  

About GS1 Canada

GS1 Canada is a neutral, not-for-profit member-organization of GS1, the world’s most prominent electronic trade standards organization; developing, promoting and maintaining global standards for the identification and location of products along the supply chain, and for related electronic trade processes. GS1 Canada represents Canadian businesses of all sizes in the global standards development process, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), multinational businesses, retailers, manufacturers, and solution providers in over 20 industry sectors across all regions of Canada. It provides a range of educational opportunities, enables increased communication and access between trading partners, and collaborates with public, private and not-for-profit organizations to advance the competitive capacity of Canadian businesses. As technologies such as Electronic Product Code™/Radio Frequency Identification (EPC/RFID) continue to drive the electronic business revolution, GS1 Canada will provide the leadership to help ensure that Canadian companies can continue to participate competitively at the global level. For more information, visit

For more information, contact:
Alicia Duval
GS1 Canada
416-510-8039 ext. 2307