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UPDATE: Council calls on Dr. Leitch, MP to reject asbestos

Conservative MP Dr. Kellie Leitch

Conservative MP Dr. Kellie Leitch

The Council of Canadians has joined with numerous medical doctors (including Dr. John O’Connor), workers and organizations from around the world in signing an open letter to Simcoe-Grey Conservative MP Dr. Kellie Leitch. The letter expresses shock that she would “apparently reject reputable medical authorities and instead endorse the dangerous medical misinformation of the asbestos industry.”

Simcoe.com reported on September 1 that Dr. Leitch, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, said, “The Canadian government has stated that it supports the safe controlled use of Chrysotile. It will continue to do so, anything to do with the decision that (buyers) make – that’s their choice.”

Worldwide about 107,000 people die annually from disease related to occupational exposure to asbestos.

The letter concludes, “We therefore call on you to cease supporting medical misinformation that will cause illness and death to children and adults overseas.”

In early June, Postmedia News reported, “The (736-member, directly-elected) European Parliament took shots (on June 8) at Canada over the oilsands industry’s environmental record, ongoing asbestos exports and the sealing industry… (The European Parliament expressed concern about the) serious harm to the health of workers mining asbestos, the processing and use of which is already banned in the EU (since 2005).” In late-June, the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers and the International Ban Asbestos Secretariat additionally called on the European Union to take sanctions against Canada for derailing a United Nations protocol to protect vulnerable populations from the hazards of asbestos.”

The open letter can be read at http://www.rightoncanada.ca/?p=1172.

Council of Canadians blogs on asbestos can be read at http://canadians.org/blog/?s=asbestos.