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MERCOSUR health ministers’ declaration, June 2010.

3 July, 2010
"Attached, translated into English, is the wonderful Declation signed last month by the health ministers of nine South American countries, calling for a ban on all forms of asbestos and products containing asbestos.  It would be wonderful if there is a way to to use this Declaration and make a public request to the health ministers of other countries, such as Mexico and Colombia, to support the leadership shown by these health ministers to stop the global South from being the dumping ground of deadly asbestos, with all the health and economic disaster it brings. It is to her enormous shame that Canada’s Minister of Health, Leona Aglukkaq, continues to support asbestos use. It is an aberration that a Minister of Health would reject the position of the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Public Health Association and the 9,500 doctors in Quebec, who all have said that her position that chrysotile asbestos can be safely used is false and that Canada’s mining and export of asbestos must end. It would be wonderful if people would send a short, sharp letter to Prime Minister Harper (Alukkaq has very little power) calling on him to support Canada’s leading health authorities and put health ahead of politics. Ask him to let Canada’s health authorities set his policy on asbestos, not the asbestos industry. Or whatever you wish to say. Harper is feeling the heat because of the demonstrations around the world and the letters they sent to him and all the media coverage at the moment. I am sure that his political advisers are chewing on this right now. So the more we do to let him know that we will not go away, he cannot bury the issue, we will expose, challenge and embarrass him, will help push them to decide the price for supporting asbestos is too high and too politically dangerous".Kathleen Ruff. Northwest Institute for Bioregional Research . Canada

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