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A new poll by the Canadian Cancer Society finds "Virtually all (99%) British Columbians agree that consumers have a right to know the ingredients that are contained in the products they purchase, and the vast majority (97%) would support the provincial government passing legislation to require labeling of all products that contain cancer-causing substances."  This poll was conducted by Ipsos-Reid, based on interviews with 3200 British Columbians.Despite these results, British Columbians still do not know which of the food products they are eating are made using genetic engineering.  Many other potentially toxic products fly under the radar completely  Its time Gordon Campbell distance himself from the one percent fringe that does not want the right to know and pass legislation to provide British Columbians the rights they deserve.

The flood of toxic compounds found in everything from chewing gum (see below) to baby bottles suggests to many Canadians a need for better regulation of the foods we eat and the products that we bring into our homes.  New evidence that compounds in chewing gum cause cancer provides even more evidence that Canadians deserve better rights to know about consumer products.  Yesterday, BC MLA Gregor Robertson tabled a bill in the BC Legislature called the Right to Know act.  It would label genetically engineer foods as well as better regulate cancer causing substances.  This poll by the Canadian Cancer Society shows that 99% percent of Canadians agree.  Its time for politicians to get moving.

Substance found in chewing gum could be labelled toxic Amy Husser ,  Canwest News Service Published: Monday, May 12, 2008 OTTAWA -A substance used to make chewing gum could soon be declared toxic by the federal government after an international agency found that it might cause cancer in lab rats.

On May 17, the government will publish a list of 17 substances that may be labelled as toxic in a draft report on risk assessment. Acetic acid ethenyl ester, or vinyl acetate - commonly used as a base in some chewing gums - could be on that list, Health Canada said Monday.

The substance is a colourless liquid with a strong, sweet scent that can be used as a flavouring agent. When made into a polymer, it becomes useful in the production of chewing gum.

However, tests completed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer found evidence that vinyl acetate could be linked to instances of cancer in rats. No similar results have been found in humans.

For this reason, the substance is classified as a "potentially high hazard substance" by Health Canada.

"The problem with cancer-causing things is we don't always know that there is a safe dose. Certainly, less is better," says Dr. Kapil Khatter, an adviser with Enivironmental Defence. His organization will likely push for the government to encourage alternatives, which Khatter says are available.

The federal government is conducting the study on vinyl acetate as part of a larger review of 200 substances called the Chemicals Management Plan to determine what actions, if any, are necessary to protect human health. Vinyl acetate is classified as a "potentially high hazard substance" because of the findings related to its carcinogenic nature.

Following the publication of the report, the public will have 60 days to comment before a final report is issued, at which point Ottawa is required to implement control measures. This could include further study. Last month, retailers across Canada voluntarily pulled baby bottles containing bisphenol A off the shelves when that substance was part of a similar assessment.   

Vinyl acetate is also used in the production of perfumes, deodorizers and paints and sealants, among other things.

© Canwest News Service 2008