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Health Canada upholds decision to keep glyphosate products on the market

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  • OTTAWA — Health Canada scientists say there is no reason to believe the scientific evidence they used to approve the continued use of glyphosate in weed killers was tainted.

    On Friday they rejected, again, arguments that the ingredient in herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup causes cancer if the substances are used as they’re supposed to be.

    The department’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency is required to reassess herbicides every 15 years and after such a reassessment in 2017 it approved glyphosate for continued use in Canada with some additional labelling requirements. The review looked at more than 1,300 studies and concluded glyphosate products pose no risk to people or the environment as long as they are properly used and labelled.

    Glyphosate is one of the most common herbicides used in the world, is in more than 130 products sold in Canada and has widespread use by farmers to keep weeds out of their crops.

    After the decision, eight objections were filed, many of which said the evidence used to approve the product was tainted because Monsanto had influenced the results.

    Their accusations were largely based on documents filed in a U.S. lawsuit in which a former groundskeeper was awarded a multimillion-dollar settlement after jurors decided his cancer was linked to glyphosate.

    The groups, including Ecojustice, Environmental Defence and Canadian Physicians for the Environment, wanted Health Minister Ginette Petipas Taylor to order an independent review of the Health Canada decision.

    Instead Health Canada assigned 20 scientists not part of the original review to look at the matter. Connie Moase, a director in the health-effects division of the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, said Friday the scientists “left no stone unturned” in reviewing the decision.

    “The objections raised did not create doubt or concern regarding the scientific basis for the 2017 re-evaluation decision for glyphosate,” said Moase.

    She said the documents, known as the Monsanto Papers, were mainly reviews of studies, not studies themselves, and that Health Canada’s approval was based on the actual studies.

    Moase added that no pest regulatory management agency in the world says glyphosate causes cancer at current levels of exposure.

    Trish Jordan, the public-and-industry-affairs director for Bayer Canada’s crop-science division, said the company supported the additional review Health Canada launched and is also pleased with the result.

    Monsanto has previously denied any attempt to influence scientific studies on glyphosate.

    “We have an unwavering commitment to sound science, transparency and to producing valuable tools that will help farmers continue to feed a growing population in a sustainable manner,” Jordan said.

    Elaine MacDonald, head of healthy communities for Ecojustice, said the decision is a big disappointment.

    “How can we trust the science if we can’t be sure that it’s independent?” she said.

    Muhannad Malas, the toxics program manager at Environmental Defence, said there is no reason to trust Health Canada if it assigns its own scientists to review the work of their peers.

    “We maintain that the public cannot be confident about the validity of the government’s decision to re-authorize glyphosate unless the health minister strikes an independent panel of experts who are not affiliated with Health Canada or industry,” he said.

    Thierry Belair, spokesman for Petipas Taylor, said the government is very aware Canadians have concerns about pesticides and this review was done with the utmost of care.

    “A team of 20 of our best scientists reviewed the evidence before coming to this decision,” he said. “As always, we have asked them to continue to monitor for new information related to this pesticide, and to take action if needed.”

    Recent testing by Environmental Defence uncovered traces of glyphosate in a number of popular food products including doughnuts, cookies and cereals. However the amounts were well below the levels Health Canada says would be unsafe for human consumption.

    Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press




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    B.C. hospital’s use as shelter ‘clarion call’ about housing crisis, says mayor

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  • The 10-bed regional hospital that serves the medical needs of 5,000 people on the remote west coast of Vancouver Island has been doing extra duty lately as an emergency shelter for the homeless and poorly housed, says the mayor of Tofino.

    Josie Osborne says she and her council were shocked to discover that Tofino General Hospital regularly provides beds and meals for people who arrive at the facility for treatment who would normally not require in-patient service.

    A delegation from Island Health, including the area’s medical health officer and a hospital doctor, appeared at Tofino council last month when the issue was discussed, she said.

    “I personally was unaware that people were staying overnight in the hospital sometimes because they simply didn’t have an adequate home to go back to,” said Osborne. “That’s deeply concerning.”

    Tofino General Hospital serves as a regional health facility for a vast region of eight communities, some of which are accessible only by boat or float plane. Osborne said due to the distances some people travel and the remoteness of their communities, the hospital sometimes admits people overnight who can’t make it home after treatment, although the homeless issue is a recent development.

    “But there are a few people who live in Tofino who present at the hospital and they’ve got both medical and social reasons why the hospital staff choose to admit them overnight,” said Osborne. “It is effectively acting as a temporary shelter for some people who don’t have a safe home or a healthy place to return to at night.”

    She said hospital staff now admit people on a regular basis overnight who have no other place to go.

    “It’s a clarion call, I think, to the entire community to say we have problems we have to talk about,” Osborne said. “They are difficult to talk about but we’ve got to resolve these.”

    She said she doesn’t believe the hospital is planning to close its doors to the homeless.

    “I don’t get the sense the hospital is upset,” Osborne said.

    Island Health spokeswoman Shannon Marshall said B.C. hospitals, including Tofino General, do not consider themselves emergency homeless shelters, but patients without housing are often admitted overnight to allow health officials to help make plans for their futures.

    Tofino regularly struggles with affordable housing shortages for local workers who serve the area’s thousands of tourists, but now the accommodation crisis is hitting the most vulnerable people the hardest, said Osborne.

    “With the exception of higher end market housing, it’s very difficult for people to find something affordable for their income range,” she said. “That goes from professionals down to tourism front-line workers to retirees who move to the community and want to spend their time here.”

    Tofino is in the planning stages of developing an affordable, multi-unit, rental housing project on municipal land, but a completion date has not been set, said Osborne. 

    She said discovering the local hospital is serving as an emergency shelter heightens the need to address the housing shortfall in the community.

    “It just raises the level of awareness that there are gaps at all levels, especially when you hear about the gaps for our more vulnerable population.”

    The B.C. Housing Ministry said in a statement the situation in Tofino demonstrates how the housing crisis is affecting communities. The province has committed to building 114,000 new affordable homes over 10 years.

    Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press


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    Watch: Buy a Red Deer Hospital Lottery ticket and change the way meds are dispensed at Red Deer Regional

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  • Red Deer Hospital Lottery 2019 Cause:  Pyxis Medstations

    Pyxis Medstations are automated medication dispensing units with numerous electronic features to ensure safety, accuracy and efficiency.

    In our hospital, over 1,000 new medication orders are written by prescribers and processed every day. 13,000 units of medication are dispensed on the care areas every 24 hours. The process for dispensing this medication is paper-based and manual with nurses selecting medication from a patient drawer or from the unit supply.

    Patient safety is of utmost concern in our hospital, and the Pyxis system will help ensure the best possible healthcare for Central Albertans. Automated medication dispensing will ensure possible allergies, drug interactions, and duplicates in therapy are reviewed before medication is given, reduce the chances of a patient receiving the wrong medication, only allow access to medications approved for that patient, warn if a medication is selected too early or too late for a patient, provide additional instruction and information on medications to healthcare providers, enhance communication between the pharmacy and nursing.

    The technology will further ensure medication dispensing safety with ‘bedside medication verification’. Once a medication has been selected for a patient, the nurse will scan the patient file at the bedside before administering the medication to that patient.2019 proceeds will be used to purchase Pyxis Medstations for use in emergency, the intensive care unit, operating room, recovery room, unit 22 (cardiology), & other critical care areas at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

    Red Deer Hospital Lottery  Proceeds from the Lottery have exceeded $8.5 million since its inception; the lottery has become a huge success and has plenty to celebrate!

    For a fifth exciting year we are proud to partner with Sorento Custom Homes for the 2019 Red Deer Hospital Lottery Dream Home!

    The 2019 Red Deer Hospital Lottery Dream Home, designed by Sorento Custom Homes, makes a strong statement of luxury and design. This $840,000 bungalow features 3,110 sq ft of developed living space. It’s a perfect family home with 3 bedrooms, 2 1⁄2 baths, and a master chef kitchen with adjoining butler pantry. You’ll love the high vaulted ceilings in the main living space, accented with wood beams & two large skylights, plus a full height brick fireplace. Enjoy the convenience of the 5 piece ensuite, connecting to a large walk-in closet and adjoining laundry room. Finish off this beautiful unique home with an impressive wet bar, and $40,000 worth of gorgeous furnishing provided by The Brick. Our Dream Home is located in the community of Laredo on the south east corner of Red Deer.

    There are 100 prizes to be won valued at more than $1.1 million. This year’s Early Bird prize is: $25,000 Cash!

    Don’t forget the MegaBucks 50 Raffle with a minimum cash payout of $100,000. Last year’s winner took home $250,000!
    2019 proceeds will be used to purchase Pyxis Medstations, automated medication dispensing units with numerous electronic features to ensure safety for patients at the Red Deer hospital, and accuracy and efficiency for hospital staff.

    Tickets for the Lottery are $25 each, 5 for $100 or 15 for $250 Call 403.340.1878 or toll-free at 1.877.808.9005.

    Mega Bucks 50 tickets are $10 each, 10 for $25, and 25 for $50. To order online or for more details visit reddeerhospitallottery.ca

    The show home is open to the public beginning March 15 at 1pm. Show home hours are March 15 – March 31, Daily 1-5 p.m.; Starting April 1, Friday – Sunday 1-5 p.m. Closed Good Friday, open Easter Sunday.

    Early Bird cutoff is 11pm May 27, 2019. Final Ticket Sales cutoff is 11 pm June 24, 2019.

     


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    march, 2019

    fri8mar - 30aprmar 85:30 pmapr 30Real Estate Dinner Theatre5:30 pm - (april 30) 10:00 pm

    sat30mar - 31mar 3010:00 ammar 319th Annual Central Alberta Family Expo10:00 am - 5:00 pm (31)

    sat30mar1:00 pm- 4:00 pmMAGSaturday @ the MuseumMAGnificent Saturdays welcomes all ages and abilities to participate in a fun art project every week! 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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