A British scientist that was involved with the Health Canada panel, which was aimed at studying the risk of mesothelioma and other forms of cancer that were linked to Canadian chrysotile asbestos, has claimed that the Ottawa government tried to suppress the asbestos report in order to minimise the adverse effect on the asbestos industry in Canada.

The claims have been made by Trevor Ogden, the British scientist who actually headed up the Health Canada panel. He claims that the government did not want to threaten the Canadian asbestos industry, and has spent almost twenty million dollars in the last twenty five years promoting its asbestos exports to countries across the developing world.

The report by the Health Canada panel was actually completed in March of 2008. However, it was not made available for a year, and even then it was only released due to the media making public information requests. Health Canada has not made the report available on its website, which it normally does with its own funded studies.

Dr Ogden stated: “I can only speculate, and my speculation is that there were interests in continuing Canadian production of chrysotile and they saw the report as a threat.”

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