Mr. Speaker, I was delighted to receive the October 16, 1996 joint statement on fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol effects released by the Minister of Health and the Canadian Paediatric Society.
FAS has widely been recognized in Canada as one of the leading causes of birth defects and developmental delay in children caused by alcohol consumption during pregnancy. The statement acknowledges that even casual use of alcohol during the early weeks of pregnancy may adversely affect the health and well-being of the child to be. Accordingly the joint statement recommends: "The prudent choice for women who are or may become pregnant is to abstain from alcohol".
That caution is an important one. I hope that Health Canada will quickly implement a strategy to educate all Canadians on the threat that alcohol poses to the unborn child.