Contradictions on food safety

Minister Ritz


CFIA internal staff briefing

“There will be no changes in frontline inspectors.”

The Hill Times – April 23, 2012

Cuts to frontline inspectors
“I don’t know how you take 10% of your budget and not deal with the front line.”
“…no way would we ever compromise food safety.”

CBC Radio The House – April 14, 2012

“programming is not being affected.”

The Hill Times – April 23, 2012

Food safety
“The second element of this is pre-clearance for imported meat. In a similar kind of way we do it for meat and not for anybody else. And the question is once again why would you do it for meat and not for anybody else?”
The CFIA “will continue to do spot checks on the shelves after the fact and make sure that the audits follow through, that the labels are factual that they have the information consumers need”

CBC Radio The House – April 14, 2012

Consumer protection
“…a full scale review of our labeling program writ large across the Agency (is underway). And, what that’s going to result in, in the same way as inspection modernization, in legislative and regulatory reform, is it will result in a new labeling program. The nature and structure of that labeling program, I have no idea.”
“…when it comes to meat, labels are still pre-approved, they’re still checked before anything hits the shelf.”

CBC Radio The House – April 14, 2012

Pre-market approval of meat labels
“Is this our responsibility?”

CFIA Executives comment on:

New inspection system

“…there is work underway to re-engineer how we do inspection.  The new inspection model which is being proposed will radically alter the way in which we actually do verification, and compliance and enforcement activities in the inspection space.

“I don’t think there’s going to be a meat group or a fish group or a label group. I don’t think we’re going to have those in the future.  We’re going to have people who do a series of activities.”

“we should look at working with associations.  Having industry take on a role (in enforcement).”

 The impact of budget cuts

“The idea of re-egineering the way we do program advice was going to happen with or without the budget.  What the budget has done is put us in a bit of a box.”

“I mean, the other big issue around this like everything else is we just don’t have sufficient bodies to do everything we’d like to do…”