23 products linked to suspended lab deemed safe: Health Canada

TORONTO – A day after revoking the licence of a Toronto-area chemical testing lab following the discovery of falsified test results, Health Canada says the number of possibly affected products is less than initially believed.

Paul Glover of the department’s Health Products and Food Branch told CTV’s Canada AM this morning the number of products it is “concerned about” at Chemi Pharmaceutical Inc. has dropped by 23 since Tuesday.

The agency announced Tuesday it had yanked the lab’s licence, saying it found falsified results in tests involving a “wide range of products,” including medications and natural food products.

It alleges that bogus results were provided to companies that had contracted Chemi’s services.

Chemi says records were falsified not by the company, but by a recently fired employee.

Health Canada initially said it had uncovered 53 products that needed to be retested and was waiting to hear from manufacturers about another 25 products, which may also need to be put through testing again.

Glover said this morning the list has been whittled down “through the co-operation of the companies” whose products were involved.

“They’ve either had other tests done or had other testing done in the interim and that gave us assurance that these products are safe and we’re able to remove them from the list,” he said.

A list posted on Health Canada’s website, however, has not been updated to reflect the changes.

The agency has said there is no evidence that the health of Canadians has been compromised.

Still, companies that used Chemi for quality testing are being asked to halt sales of affected products until their safety can be confirmed.

On Tuesday, Health Canada said it has contacted the RCMP to investigate Chemi Pharmaceutical Inc.

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