Statement Article from  Health Canada

Implementation of the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act and Regulations

December 2, 2015 - Ottawa, ON - Public Health Agency of Canada

On December 1, 2015, the Human Pathogens and Toxins Regulations (HPTR) in support of the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act (HPTA) came into force.

The HPTA and its supporting regulations further strengthen the national safety and security requirements for scientific and research facilities that use human pathogens — such as viruses, bacteria and parasites — and toxins.  The HPTA and HPTR make working with pathogens and toxins safer and more secure, while enabling Canadian public health labs to respond to disease outbreaks as efficiently as possible.

The new regulations apply to approximately 8,500 laboratories in Canada. They require laboratory personnel who possess, store or use higher risk human pathogens or toxins to be licensed and to follow stringent safety and security obligations.

The regulations are also flexible enough to support scientific innovation at Canadian universities and research facilities by reducing unnecessary requirements where the risk to public health is low, while still maintaining appropriate safety and security measures.

In 2009, the Government of Canada passed the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act and has since been working to develop the supporting regulations to help implement the Act. National consultation sessions with stakeholders helped inform the new regulations.

The HPTR and HPTA replace and extend the authority of the Public Health Agency of Canada beyond the previous Human Pathogen Importation Regulations (HPIR) and Canadian Biosafety Standards and Guidelines (CBSG), which were in effect until December 1, 2015. The HPIR is repealed and the CBSG is replaced by the Canadian Biosafety Standard (CBS).

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Hon. Jane Philpott Health Canada Health and Safety

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