A Dalhousie University professor says the impact of the partial U.S. government shutdown could be felt in Canada’s food industry

Mark Hodgins – Halifax Today

A Dalhousie University professor says the impact of the partial U.S. government shutdown could be felt in Canada’s food industry.

According to Dalhousie’s Sylvain Charlebois, there’s a risk to Canada because of the sheer amount of food we import from the U.S.

“We import billions of dollars of food from the United States every year – almost half of our fruit and vegetable imports are from the United States,” explained Charlebois. “Right now because of the shutdown some of the inspections aren’t being done with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”

Charlebois said some breaches are possible, not necessarily due to a lack of inspections, but because there is no proper regulatory oversight on the system right now. He used the example of the handling of the romaine lettuce outbreak to show how working together can help regulators protect Canadians.

The main concern for Charlebois is the impact on imported leafy greens, rather than meat products.

The FDA has said it will be resuming safety inspections Tuesday, using unpaid staff that have agreed to do the work.

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