Similar issue in Canada

by cd69 @, Winnipeg,MB,Canada, Tuesday, August 11, 2020, 17:24 (78 days ago) @ hromero

The Manitoba Liberals want answers from the provincial government after a Health Canada recall has left the government on the hook for $1.2 million worth of hand sanitizer.

The province signed a contract for $1,206,000 worth of hand sanitizer from a Manitoba vodka distiller based in Springfield, Man. – 204 Spirits Inc. – in April, according to a press release from the Manitoba Liberal Caucus. The company had converted from distilling alcohol to producing hand sanitizer at the beginning of the pandemic when demand was high and supply from the usual producers couldn’t keep up.

In April, Health Canada had acknowledged that there was a shortage of pharmaceutical- and food-grade ethanol and they were temporarily allowing companies to use technical-grade ethanol in alcohol-based hand sanitizers. But the technical-grade ethanol had to be purchased from a Health Canada approved manufacturer, and the producers needed to receive a "no objection" letter from Health Canada before proceeding.

However, on Aug. 4, Health Canada issued a recall advisory stating that 204 Hand Sanitizer was being recalled because the product was sold "without market authorization." The product also failed to meet Health Canada’s packaging requirements that list risk statements associated with medical products.

On Health Canada’s website they’ve advised that this is a more widespread concern as a number of similar products across the country failed to meet requirements. "Certain hand sanitizers containing technical-grade ethanol are being recalled from the market because they are not compliant with federal regulations and may pose a risk to health," the website says.

Health Canada is advising the public that if they’ve purchased 204 Hand Sanitizer or a similar product on their list (found at healthycanadians.gc.ca), they stop using the product and speak with a healthcare professional if they’ve experienced health concerns since using the product.

Health Minister Cameron Friesen said Monday he was aware of the recall and any product that needs to be taken out of circulation will be.

"We really marshaled resources to get the materials that we would need for COVID-19. And certainly there was no one criticizing the effort to bring into jurisdiction masks and gowns and sanitizing sprays that we would need in our system. We have a better stockpile now in our system than we did three months ago and that is thanks to the efforts of a bunch of heroes who went to work to get that here," Friesen said.

The government is facing criticism for the move from the Liberal caucus, as Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont says this botched purchase is emblematic of the province’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The PCs approach to this pandemic has been incredibly reactive and this shows that cutting corners costs more in the long run," said Lamont.

A request for comment from 204 Spirits Inc. was not answered before deadline.


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