Cathy McLeod, Member of Parliament for Kamloops – Thompson – Cariboo, introduced her first Private Members’ Bill recently in Parliament.
Bill C-290 is entitled An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act (machine-readable code). The bill would amend the Food and Drugs Act so that regulations may be made with respect to the addition of a machine-readable code, such as a Quick Response (QR) code, providing prescribed mandatory information and supplementary product information to the label of all foods, drugs, cosmetics, devices and therapeutic products.
“The impetus behind the bill is a complaint I have heard frequently from people not being able to read the very small print on medication. Adding a smartphone code would reflect the existing labeling on packaging and provide an additional option for the consumer. They would simply use their smartphone by scanning the code on the package and have the information readily available in an easy to read manner,” said McLeod.
“I believe that it is important for consumers to be able to read a complete list of instructions, directions and product information. People are wary of buying something without knowing what it contains, particularly when it comes to any health risks such as allergies. Further, consumers also need detailed instructions as they want to make sure that they are ingesting medication and other products properly. In addition, a smartphone code will provide manufacturers with more room to include detailed step-by-step instructions,” stated McLeod.
“This legislation will help manufacturers respond to consumer demand for further information. It was also drafted in a time-independent manner so that it will remain valid in the coming years as this type of technology evolves,” said McLeod.
“The use of a smartphone code will supplement mandatory written information and cannot replace such information. I hope by providing consumers a way to read information more readily it will assist them in their daily lives,” concluded McLeod.