Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Thank you for taking the time to go over this with me, as has Mr. Khatter, who has been very helpful in the work I've done.
This bill was introduced, as the committee knows, prior to the government's introduction of the prohibition, but nonetheless it was welcomed. We have had some meetings with a government representative with respect to the kinds of amendments that would be acceptable, while at the same time having the bill go through.
One of the things that motivated me for putting this forward, Mr. Chair, is the persistence of this particular toxin in the food chain and in the environment, in bodies. In some recent studies that were done, actually very recently, I think it was 2006--and I believe the Department of National Defence was one of them; they were testing other toxins. They did find, in fact, PFOS in the bodies of Canadians, and in particularly higher levels in those of children, which of course is expected, given that children are growing fast and that their cells are also duplicating much faster than those of us who are going in the other direction these days.
Nonetheless, I felt it was extremely important to make sure that this kind of persistent organic pollutant, or this persistent toxin, be removed from our environment. As you know, 3M has stopped producing products with it, voluntarily, because it recognized that it was such a potent toxin that it wasn't going to argue and try to delay its own actions. And that's rare for the private sector, as we all know, to actually act on something as quickly as it did in this case. It has been banned in most other countries in the world, except for some very rare exceptions with respect to some equipment, but apart from that it has.
Now, what I would hope this committee would also address, in addition to supporting the bill today, would be to recommend that the bill to be referenced from this committee to the Stockholm Convention on POPs, to have it listed on the Stockholm Convention as well, as one of the persistent organic pollutants, and also to amend the shortfalls within CEPA with respect to this area.
I want to finish by saying that the kinds of cancers that are caused by this toxin, I don't even want to list to you--but things like the pancreas...and all kinds of other problems. It is quite cumulative; it is one of the worst toxins. There are many others, and hopefully we'll work our way through getting rid of all of them, but I thought I would deal with this one.
Mr. Chair, I thank you for your patience.