For Immediate Release

Canadian Food Inspection Agency cuts sink consumer protection against food fraud in Metro Vancouver

Vancouver (22 April 2014) – The unit of food inspectors dedicated to protecting consumers and retailers in Metro Vancouver from food fraud and unsafe retail food displays has been disbanded.

Metro Vancouver is now the only major metropolitan area in Canada without a dedicated CFIA team of inspectors whose mandate is to protect consumers from false claims about food products, fraudulent product weights, misleading product descriptions and unsafe retail food displays.

The Consumer Protection Unit serving Metro Vancouver has been disbanded in the shadow of Ottawa’s plans to cut the CFIA’s food safety program by $35 million and 192 food safety positions by 2016/17.

The Metro Vancouver Consumer Protection inspectorate has been allowed to wither from 11 when the program was first established in the mid-1990s to just 4 inspectors today.  Victoria and Kelowna have two consumer protection inspectors each, down from three in each city when the program first came on stream.

The Unit was disbanded at the end of January. Today, the remaining inspectors have been embedded in other CFIA teams where they are supposed to pursue consumer protection work.

At the same time, the CFIA is forecasting a much reduced consumer protection inspection plan in Metro Vancouver this year.  As a result, local consumers face an increased risk of exposure to food fraud and safety hazards.

“With fewer inspectors, even this reduced plan to prevent consumer fraud and food safety problems will likely be impossible to complete,” says Bob Kingston, President of the Agriculture Union – PSAC that represents federal food inspectors.

The 2014 consumer protection inspection plan includes:

 

  • Fewer ground meat inspections.  This means there will be less checking of fat content, filler and fraudulent species claims (it is not uncommon for some companies to mix pork or other species with their beef).

 

  • No oil inspections, even though oil adulteration has been a big problem.  Olive oil is often cut with less expensive oils, or extra virgin olive oil cut with regular olive oil .

 

  • Fewer independent food retailers will be inspected this year.

 

-2-

 

Responsibility for inspecting and enforcing laws and regulations related to consumer fraud in food products rests with Canada’s food inspection agency, the CFIA.   Yet, the agency has a very poor track record when it comes to enforcing the rules or even notifying consumers and retailers when the agency knows they have been broken.

“CFIA is choosing to ignore blatant examples of misleading or fraudulent product claims.  The record shows that consumers need protection from some companies who resort to fraudulent and misleading practices.  Rather than dismantling its Consumer Protection Unit, the government should be prosecuting companies that defraud consumers,” says Bob Jackson, PSAC Regional Vice- President for British Columbia.

The CFIA has been retreating from its consumer protection mandate.

Recently, the Agency ordered its consumer protection inspectors to stop verifying the temperature of products in refrigerated and heated food display cabinets in retail outlets.

This is a food safety concern.  Product temperatures in display cabinets that are either too high or not low enough can create the risk of food borne illness.

In Ontario, the CFIA’s consumer protection unit known as the Fair Labeling Practices Program has been cut by 50%.  Just one inspector is now responsible for consumer protection in every retail food outlet in the City of Toronto.

Toronto

 1 inspector, 2 positions vacant

Markham

 2 inspectors

Hamilton

 2 inspectors, 3 positions vacant not being filled

London

 2 inspectors, 2 position vacant

Barrie

 1 inspector

North Bay

 1 position vacant

Belleville

 1 position vacant

Thunder Bay

 1 inspector

Ottawa

 2 inspectors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Inspectors who belong to these units care deeply about the work the work they do protecting consumers from fraudulent claims and potential threats to safety.  They push CFIA executives to enforce the rules and prosecute violators. Without their advocacy, the CFIA will drop consumer protection all together,” Kingston said.

 

-30-

For more information:

Jim Thompson

613-447-9592

jim@thompsoncom.ca

Bill Tieleman,

Weststar Communications

Cell 778-896-0964  Office 604-844-7827

 

 

 

 

Related Documents:

Speaking Notes

For Immediate Release

Canadian Food Inspection Agency cuts sink consumer protection against food fraud in Metro Vancouver

Vancouver (22 April 2014) – The unit of food inspectors dedicated to protecting consumers and retailers in Metro Vancouver from food fraud and unsafe retail food displays has been disbanded.

Metro Vancouver is now the only major metropolitan area in Canada without a dedicated CFIA team of inspectors whose mandate is to protect consumers from false claims about food products, fraudulent product weights, misleading product descriptions and unsafe retail food displays.

The Consumer Protection Unit serving Metro Vancouver has been disbanded in the shadow of Ottawa’s plans to cut the CFIA’s food safety program by $35 million and 192 food safety positions by 2016/17.

The Metro Vancouver Consumer Protection inspectorate has been allowed to wither from 11 when the program was first established in the mid-1990s to just 4 inspectors today.  Victoria and Kelowna have two consumer protection inspectors each, down from three in each city when the program first came on stream.

The Unit was disbanded at the end of January. Today, the remaining inspectors have been embedded in other CFIA teams where they are supposed to pursue consumer protection work.

At the same time, the CFIA is forecasting a much reduced consumer protection inspection plan in Metro Vancouver this year.  As a result, local consumers face an increased risk of exposure to food fraud and safety hazards.

“With fewer inspectors, even this reduced plan to prevent consumer fraud and food safety problems will likely be impossible to complete,” says Bob Kingston, President of the Agriculture Union – PSAC that represents federal food inspectors.

The 2014 consumer protection inspection plan includes:

 

  • Fewer ground meat inspections.  This means there will be less checking of fat content, filler and fraudulent species claims (it is not uncommon for some companies to mix pork or other species with their beef).

 

  • No oil inspections, even though oil adulteration has been a big problem.  Olive oil is often cut with less expensive oils, or extra virgin olive oil cut with regular olive oil .

 

  • Fewer independent food retailers will be inspected this year.

 

-2-

 

Responsibility for inspecting and enforcing laws and regulations related to consumer fraud in food products rests with Canada’s food inspection agency, the CFIA.   Yet, the agency has a very poor track record when it comes to enforcing the rules or even notifying consumers and retailers when the agency knows they have been broken.

“CFIA is choosing to ignore blatant examples of misleading or fraudulent product claims.  The record shows that consumers need protection from some companies who resort to fraudulent and misleading practices.  Rather than dismantling its Consumer Protection Unit, the government should be prosecuting companies that defraud consumers,” says Bob Jackson, PSAC Regional Vice- President for British Columbia.

The CFIA has been retreating from its consumer protection mandate.

Recently, the Agency ordered its consumer protection inspectors to stop verifying the temperature of products in refrigerated and heated food display cabinets in retail outlets.

This is a food safety concern.  Product temperatures in display cabinets that are either too high or not low enough can create the risk of food borne illness.

In Ontario, the CFIA’s consumer protection unit known as the Fair Labeling Practices Program has been cut by 50%.  Just one inspector is now responsible for consumer protection in every retail food outlet in the City of Toronto.

Toronto

 1 inspector, 2 positions vacant

Markham

 2 inspectors

Hamilton

 2 inspectors, 3 positions vacant not being filled

London

 2 inspectors, 2 position vacant

Barrie

 1 inspector

North Bay

 1 position vacant

Belleville

 1 position vacant

Thunder Bay

 1 inspector

Ottawa

 2 inspectors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Inspectors who belong to these units care deeply about the work the work they do protecting consumers from fraudulent claims and potential threats to safety.  They push CFIA executives to enforce the rules and prosecute violators. Without their advocacy, the CFIA will drop consumer protection all together,” Kingston said.

 

-30-

For more information:

Jim Thompson

613-447-9592

jim@thompsoncom.ca

Bill Tieleman,

Weststar Communications

Cell 778-896-0964  Office 604-844-7827

 

 

 

 

Related Documents:

Speaking Notes

For Immediate Release

Canadian Food Inspection Agency cuts sink consumer protection against food fraud in Metro Vancouver

Vancouver (22 April 2014) – The unit of food inspectors dedicated to protecting consumers and retailers in Metro Vancouver from food fraud and unsafe retail food displays has been disbanded.

Metro Vancouver is now the only major metropolitan area in Canada without a dedicated CFIA team of inspectors whose mandate is to protect consumers from false claims about food products, fraudulent product weights, misleading product descriptions and unsafe retail food displays.

The Consumer Protection Unit serving Metro Vancouver has been disbanded in the shadow of Ottawa’s plans to cut the CFIA’s food safety program by $35 million and 192 food safety positions by 2016/17.

The Metro Vancouver Consumer Protection inspectorate has been allowed to wither from 11 when the program was first established in the mid-1990s to just 4 inspectors today.  Victoria and Kelowna have two consumer protection inspectors each, down from three in each city when the program first came on stream.

The Unit was disbanded at the end of January. Today, the remaining inspectors have been embedded in other CFIA teams where they are supposed to pursue consumer protection work.

At the same time, the CFIA is forecasting a much reduced consumer protection inspection plan in Metro Vancouver this year.  As a result, local consumers face an increased risk of exposure to food fraud and safety hazards.

“With fewer inspectors, even this reduced plan to prevent consumer fraud and food safety problems will likely be impossible to complete,” says Bob Kingston, President of the Agriculture Union – PSAC that represents federal food inspectors.

The 2014 consumer protection inspection plan includes:

  • Fewer ground meat inspections.  This means there will be less checking of fat content, filler and fraudulent species claims (it is not uncommon for some companies to mix pork or other species with their beef).
  • No oil inspections, even though oil adulteration has been a big problem.  Olive oil is often cut with less expensive oils, or extra virgin olive oil cut with regular olive oil .
  • Fewer independent food retailers will be inspected this year.

Responsibility for inspecting and enforcing laws and regulations related to consumer fraud in food products rests with Canada’s food inspection agency, the CFIA.   Yet, the agency has a very poor track record when it comes to enforcing the rules or even notifying consumers and retailers when the agency knows they have been broken.

“CFIA is choosing to ignore blatant examples of misleading or fraudulent product claims.  The record shows that consumers need protection from some companies who resort to fraudulent and misleading practices.  Rather than dismantling its Consumer Protection Unit, the government should be prosecuting companies that defraud consumers,” says Bob Jackson, PSAC Regional Vice- President for British Columbia.

The CFIA has been retreating from its consumer protection mandate.

Recently, the Agency ordered its consumer protection inspectors to stop verifying the temperature of products in refrigerated and heated food display cabinets in retail outlets.

This is a food safety concern.  Product temperatures in display cabinets that are either too high or not low enough can create the risk of food borne illness.

In Ontario, the CFIA’s consumer protection unit known as the Fair Labeling Practices Program has been cut by 50%.  Just one inspector is now responsible for consumer protection in every retail food outlet in the City of Toronto.

Toronto

 1 inspector, 2 positions vacant

Markham

 2 inspectors

Hamilton

 2 inspectors, 3 positions vacant not being filled

London

 2 inspectors, 2 position vacant

Barrie

 1 inspector

North Bay

 1 position vacant

Belleville

 1 position vacant

Thunder Bay

 1 inspector

Ottawa

 2 inspectors

“Inspectors who belong to these units care deeply about the work the work they do protecting consumers from fraudulent claims and potential threats to safety.  They push CFIA executives to enforce the rules and prosecute violators. Without their advocacy, the CFIA will drop consumer protection all together,” Kingston said.

-30-

For more information:

Jim Thompson
613-447-9592
jim@thompsoncom.ca

Bill Tieleman,
Weststar Communications
Cell 778-896-0964  Office 604-844-7827

Backgrounder

The federal government plans to cut the CFIA’s food safety program by $35 million and 192 positions by 2016/17.

Food Safety Spending and Staff

Source: CFIA 2014-15 Estimates Report on Plans and Priorities, Treasury Board of Canada

Related Documents:

News conference Speaking Notes

For Immediate Release

Canadian Food Inspection Agency cuts sink consumer protection against food fraud in Metro Vancouver

Vancouver (22 April 2014) – The unit of food inspectors dedicated to protecting consumers and retailers in Metro Vancouver from food fraud and unsafe retail food displays has been disbanded.

Metro Vancouver is now the only major metropolitan area in Canada without a dedicated CFIA team of inspectors whose mandate is to protect consumers from false claims about food products, fraudulent product weights, misleading product descriptions and unsafe retail food displays.

The Consumer Protection Unit serving Metro Vancouver has been disbanded in the shadow of Ottawa’s plans to cut the CFIA’s food safety program by $35 million and 192 food safety positions by 2016/17.

The Metro Vancouver Consumer Protection inspectorate has been allowed to wither from 11 when the program was first established in the mid-1990s to just 4 inspectors today.  Victoria and Kelowna have two consumer protection inspectors each, down from three in each city when the program first came on stream.

The Unit was disbanded at the end of January. Today, the remaining inspectors have been embedded in other CFIA teams where they are supposed to pursue consumer protection work.

At the same time, the CFIA is forecasting a much reduced consumer protection inspection plan in Metro Vancouver this year.  As a result, local consumers face an increased risk of exposure to food fraud and safety hazards.

“With fewer inspectors, even this reduced plan to prevent consumer fraud and food safety problems will likely be impossible to complete,” says Bob Kingston, President of the Agriculture Union – PSAC that represents federal food inspectors.

The 2014 consumer protection inspection plan includes:

 

  • Fewer ground meat inspections.  This means there will be less checking of fat content, filler and fraudulent species claims (it is not uncommon for some companies to mix pork or other species with their beef).

 

  • No oil inspections, even though oil adulteration has been a big problem.  Olive oil is often cut with less expensive oils, or extra virgin olive oil cut with regular olive oil .

 

  • Fewer independent food retailers will be inspected this year.

 

-2-

 

Responsibility for inspecting and enforcing laws and regulations related to consumer fraud in food products rests with Canada’s food inspection agency, the CFIA.   Yet, the agency has a very poor track record when it comes to enforcing the rules or even notifying consumers and retailers when the agency knows they have been broken.

“CFIA is choosing to ignore blatant examples of misleading or fraudulent product claims.  The record shows that consumers need protection from some companies who resort to fraudulent and misleading practices.  Rather than dismantling its Consumer Protection Unit, the government should be prosecuting companies that defraud consumers,” says Bob Jackson, PSAC Regional Vice- President for British Columbia.

The CFIA has been retreating from its consumer protection mandate.

Recently, the Agency ordered its consumer protection inspectors to stop verifying the temperature of products in refrigerated and heated food display cabinets in retail outlets.

This is a food safety concern.  Product temperatures in display cabinets that are either too high or not low enough can create the risk of food borne illness.

In Ontario, the CFIA’s consumer protection unit known as the Fair Labeling Practices Program has been cut by 50%.  Just one inspector is now responsible for consumer protection in every retail food outlet in the City of Toronto.

Toronto

 1 inspector, 2 positions vacant

Markham

 2 inspectors

Hamilton

 2 inspectors, 3 positions vacant not being filled

London

 2 inspectors, 2 position vacant

Barrie

 1 inspector

North Bay

 1 position vacant

Belleville

 1 position vacant

Thunder Bay

 1 inspector

Ottawa

 2 inspectors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Inspectors who belong to these units care deeply about the work the work they do protecting consumers from fraudulent claims and potential threats to safety.  They push CFIA executives to enforce the rules and prosecute violators. Without their advocacy, the CFIA will drop consumer protection all together,” Kingston said.

 

-30-

For more information:

Jim Thompson

613-447-9592

jim@thompsoncom.ca

Bill Tieleman,

Weststar Communications

Cell 778-896-0964  Office 604-844-7827

 

 

 

 

Related Documents:

Speaking Notes

For Immediate Release

Canadian Food Inspection Agency cuts sink consumer protection against food fraud in Metro Vancouver

Vancouver (22 April 2014) – The unit of food inspectors dedicated to protecting consumers and retailers in Metro Vancouver from food fraud and unsafe retail food displays has been disbanded.

Metro Vancouver is now the only major metropolitan area in Canada without a dedicated CFIA team of inspectors whose mandate is to protect consumers from false claims about food products, fraudulent product weights, misleading product descriptions and unsafe retail food displays.

The Consumer Protection Unit serving Metro Vancouver has been disbanded in the shadow of Ottawa’s plans to cut the CFIA’s food safety program by $35 million and 192 food safety positions by 2016/17.

The Metro Vancouver Consumer Protection inspectorate has been allowed to wither from 11 when the program was first established in the mid-1990s to just 4 inspectors today.  Victoria and Kelowna have two consumer protection inspectors each, down from three in each city when the program first came on stream.

The Unit was disbanded at the end of January. Today, the remaining inspectors have been embedded in other CFIA teams where they are supposed to pursue consumer protection work.

At the same time, the CFIA is forecasting a much reduced consumer protection inspection plan in Metro Vancouver this year.  As a result, local consumers face an increased risk of exposure to food fraud and safety hazards.

“With fewer inspectors, even this reduced plan to prevent consumer fraud and food safety problems will likely be impossible to complete,” says Bob Kingston, President of the Agriculture Union – PSAC that represents federal food inspectors.

The 2014 consumer protection inspection plan includes:

  • Fewer ground meat inspections.  This means there will be less checking of fat content, filler and fraudulent species claims (it is not uncommon for some companies to mix pork or other species with their beef).
  • No oil inspections, even though oil adulteration has been a big problem.  Olive oil is often cut with less expensive oils, or extra virgin olive oil cut with regular olive oil .
  • Fewer independent food retailers will be inspected this year.

Responsibility for inspecting and enforcing laws and regulations related to consumer fraud in food products rests with Canada’s food inspection agency, the CFIA.   Yet, the agency has a very poor track record when it comes to enforcing the rules or even notifying consumers and retailers when the agency knows they have been broken.

“CFIA is choosing to ignore blatant examples of misleading or fraudulent product claims.  The record shows that consumers need protection from some companies who resort to fraudulent and misleading practices.  Rather than dismantling its Consumer Protection Unit, the government should be prosecuting companies that defraud consumers,” says Bob Jackson, PSAC Regional Vice- President for British Columbia.

The CFIA has been retreating from its consumer protection mandate.

Recently, the Agency ordered its consumer protection inspectors to stop verifying the temperature of products in refrigerated and heated food display cabinets in retail outlets.

This is a food safety concern.  Product temperatures in display cabinets that are either too high or not low enough can create the risk of food borne illness.

In Ontario, the CFIA’s consumer protection unit known as the Fair Labeling Practices Program has been cut by 50%.  Just one inspector is now responsible for consumer protection in every retail food outlet in the City of Toronto.

Toronto

 1 inspector, 2 positions vacant

Markham

 2 inspectors

Hamilton

 2 inspectors, 3 positions vacant not being filled

London

 2 inspectors, 2 position vacant

Barrie

 1 inspector

North Bay

 1 position vacant

Belleville

 1 position vacant

Thunder Bay

 1 inspector

Ottawa

 2 inspectors

“Inspectors who belong to these units care deeply about the work the work they do protecting consumers from fraudulent claims and potential threats to safety.  They push CFIA executives to enforce the rules and prosecute violators. Without their advocacy, the CFIA will drop consumer protection all together,” Kingston said.

-30-

For more information:

Jim Thompson
613-447-9592
jim@thompsoncom.ca

Bill Tieleman,
Weststar Communications
Cell 778-896-0964  Office 604-844-7827

Backgrounder

The federal government plans to cut the CFIA’s food safety program by $35 million and 192 positions by 2016/17.

Food Safety Spending and Staff

Source: CFIA 2014-15 Estimates Report on Plans and Priorities, Treasury Board of Canada

Related Documents:

News conference Speaking Notes

For Immediate Release

Canadian Food Inspection Agency cuts sink consumer protection against food fraud in Metro Vancouver

Vancouver (22 April 2014) – The unit of food inspectors dedicated to protecting consumers and retailers in Metro Vancouver from food fraud and unsafe retail food displays has been disbanded.

Metro Vancouver is now the only major metropolitan area in Canada without a dedicated CFIA team of inspectors whose mandate is to protect consumers from false claims about food products, fraudulent product weights, misleading product descriptions and unsafe retail food displays.

The Consumer Protection Unit serving Metro Vancouver has been disbanded in the shadow of Ottawa’s plans to cut the CFIA’s food safety program by $35 million and 192 food safety positions by 2016/17.

The Metro Vancouver Consumer Protection inspectorate has been allowed to wither from 11 when the program was first established in the mid-1990s to just 4 inspectors today.  Victoria and Kelowna have two consumer protection inspectors each, down from three in each city when the program first came on stream.

The Unit was disbanded at the end of January. Today, the remaining inspectors have been embedded in other CFIA teams where they are supposed to pursue consumer protection work.

At the same time, the CFIA is forecasting a much reduced consumer protection inspection plan in Metro Vancouver this year.  As a result, local consumers face an increased risk of exposure to food fraud and safety hazards.

“With fewer inspectors, even this reduced plan to prevent consumer fraud and food safety problems will likely be impossible to complete,” says Bob Kingston, President of the Agriculture Union – PSAC that represents federal food inspectors.

The 2014 consumer protection inspection plan includes:

 

  • Fewer ground meat inspections.  This means there will be less checking of fat content, filler and fraudulent species claims (it is not uncommon for some companies to mix pork or other species with their beef).

 

  • No oil inspections, even though oil adulteration has been a big problem.  Olive oil is often cut with less expensive oils, or extra virgin olive oil cut with regular olive oil .

 

  • Fewer independent food retailers will be inspected this year.

 

-2-

 

Responsibility for inspecting and enforcing laws and regulations related to consumer fraud in food products rests with Canada’s food inspection agency, the CFIA.   Yet, the agency has a very poor track record when it comes to enforcing the rules or even notifying consumers and retailers when the agency knows they have been broken.

“CFIA is choosing to ignore blatant examples of misleading or fraudulent product claims.  The record shows that consumers need protection from some companies who resort to fraudulent and misleading practices.  Rather than dismantling its Consumer Protection Unit, the government should be prosecuting companies that defraud consumers,” says Bob Jackson, PSAC Regional Vice- President for British Columbia.

The CFIA has been retreating from its consumer protection mandate.

Recently, the Agency ordered its consumer protection inspectors to stop verifying the temperature of products in refrigerated and heated food display cabinets in retail outlets.

This is a food safety concern.  Product temperatures in display cabinets that are either too high or not low enough can create the risk of food borne illness.

In Ontario, the CFIA’s consumer protection unit known as the Fair Labeling Practices Program has been cut by 50%.  Just one inspector is now responsible for consumer protection in every retail food outlet in the City of Toronto.

Toronto

 1 inspector, 2 positions vacant

Markham

 2 inspectors

Hamilton

 2 inspectors, 3 positions vacant not being filled

London

 2 inspectors, 2 position vacant

Barrie

 1 inspector

North Bay

 1 position vacant

Belleville

 1 position vacant

Thunder Bay

 1 inspector

Ottawa

 2 inspectors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Inspectors who belong to these units care deeply about the work the work they do protecting consumers from fraudulent claims and potential threats to safety.  They push CFIA executives to enforce the rules and prosecute violators. Without their advocacy, the CFIA will drop consumer protection all together,” Kingston said.

 

-30-

For more information:

Jim Thompson

613-447-9592

jim@thompsoncom.ca

Bill Tieleman,

Weststar Communications

Cell 778-896-0964  Office 604-844-7827

 

Food Safety Spending and Staff

 

 

 

 

Related Documents:

Speaking Notes

For Immediate Release

Canadian Food Inspection Agency cuts sink consumer protection against food fraud in Metro Vancouver

Vancouver (22 April 2014) – The unit of food inspectors dedicated to protecting consumers and retailers in Metro Vancouver from food fraud and unsafe retail food displays has been disbanded.

Metro Vancouver is now the only major metropolitan area in Canada without a dedicated CFIA team of inspectors whose mandate is to protect consumers from false claims about food products, fraudulent product weights, misleading product descriptions and unsafe retail food displays.

The Consumer Protection Unit serving Metro Vancouver has been disbanded in the shadow of Ottawa’s plans to cut the CFIA’s food safety program by $35 million and 192 food safety positions by 2016/17.

The Metro Vancouver Consumer Protection inspectorate has been allowed to wither from 11 when the program was first established in the mid-1990s to just 4 inspectors today.  Victoria and Kelowna have two consumer protection inspectors each, down from three in each city when the program first came on stream.

The Unit was disbanded at the end of January. Today, the remaining inspectors have been embedded in other CFIA teams where they are supposed to pursue consumer protection work.

At the same time, the CFIA is forecasting a much reduced consumer protection inspection plan in Metro Vancouver this year.  As a result, local consumers face an increased risk of exposure to food fraud and safety hazards.

“With fewer inspectors, even this reduced plan to prevent consumer fraud and food safety problems will likely be impossible to complete,” says Bob Kingston, President of the Agriculture Union – PSAC that represents federal food inspectors.

The 2014 consumer protection inspection plan includes:

 

  • Fewer ground meat inspections.  This means there will be less checking of fat content, filler and fraudulent species claims (it is not uncommon for some companies to mix pork or other species with their beef).

 

  • No oil inspections, even though oil adulteration has been a big problem.  Olive oil is often cut with less expensive oils, or extra virgin olive oil cut with regular olive oil .

 

  • Fewer independent food retailers will be inspected this year.

 

-2-

 

Responsibility for inspecting and enforcing laws and regulations related to consumer fraud in food products rests with Canada’s food inspection agency, the CFIA.   Yet, the agency has a very poor track record when it comes to enforcing the rules or even notifying consumers and retailers when the agency knows they have been broken.

“CFIA is choosing to ignore blatant examples of misleading or fraudulent product claims.  The record shows that consumers need protection from some companies who resort to fraudulent and misleading practices.  Rather than dismantling its Consumer Protection Unit, the government should be prosecuting companies that defraud consumers,” says Bob Jackson, PSAC Regional Vice- President for British Columbia.

The CFIA has been retreating from its consumer protection mandate.

Recently, the Agency ordered its consumer protection inspectors to stop verifying the temperature of products in refrigerated and heated food display cabinets in retail outlets.

This is a food safety concern.  Product temperatures in display cabinets that are either too high or not low enough can create the risk of food borne illness.

In Ontario, the CFIA’s consumer protection unit known as the Fair Labeling Practices Program has been cut by 50%.  Just one inspector is now responsible for consumer protection in every retail food outlet in the City of Toronto.

Toronto

 1 inspector, 2 positions vacant

Markham

 2 inspectors

Hamilton

 2 inspectors, 3 positions vacant not being filled

London

 2 inspectors, 2 position vacant

Barrie

 1 inspector

North Bay

 1 position vacant

Belleville

 1 position vacant

Thunder Bay

 1 inspector

Ottawa

 2 inspectors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Inspectors who belong to these units care deeply about the work the work they do protecting consumers from fraudulent claims and potential threats to safety.  They push CFIA executives to enforce the rules and prosecute violators. Without their advocacy, the CFIA will drop consumer protection all together,” Kingston said.

 

-30-

For more information:

Jim Thompson

613-447-9592

jim@thompsoncom.ca

Bill Tieleman,

Weststar Communications

Cell 778-896-0964  Office 604-844-7827

 

 

 

 

Related Documents:

Speaking Notes

For Immediate Release

Canadian Food Inspection Agency cuts sink consumer protection against food fraud in Metro Vancouver

Vancouver (22 April 2014) – The unit of food inspectors dedicated to protecting consumers and retailers in Metro Vancouver from food fraud and unsafe retail food displays has been disbanded.

Metro Vancouver is now the only major metropolitan area in Canada without a dedicated CFIA team of inspectors whose mandate is to protect consumers from false claims about food products, fraudulent product weights, misleading product descriptions and unsafe retail food displays.

The Consumer Protection Unit serving Metro Vancouver has been disbanded in the shadow of Ottawa’s plans to cut the CFIA’s food safety program by $35 million and 192 food safety positions by 2016/17.

The Metro Vancouver Consumer Protection inspectorate has been allowed to wither from 11 when the program was first established in the mid-1990s to just 4 inspectors today.  Victoria and Kelowna have two consumer protection inspectors each, down from three in each city when the program first came on stream.

The Unit was disbanded at the end of January. Today, the remaining inspectors have been embedded in other CFIA teams where they are supposed to pursue consumer protection work.

At the same time, the CFIA is forecasting a much reduced consumer protection inspection plan in Metro Vancouver this year.  As a result, local consumers face an increased risk of exposure to food fraud and safety hazards.

“With fewer inspectors, even this reduced plan to prevent consumer fraud and food safety problems will likely be impossible to complete,” says Bob Kingston, President of the Agriculture Union – PSAC that represents federal food inspectors.

The 2014 consumer protection inspection plan includes:

  • Fewer ground meat inspections.  This means there will be less checking of fat content, filler and fraudulent species claims (it is not uncommon for some companies to mix pork or other species with their beef).
  • No oil inspections, even though oil adulteration has been a big problem.  Olive oil is often cut with less expensive oils, or extra virgin olive oil cut with regular olive oil .
  • Fewer independent food retailers will be inspected this year.

Responsibility for inspecting and enforcing laws and regulations related to consumer fraud in food products rests with Canada’s food inspection agency, the CFIA.   Yet, the agency has a very poor track record when it comes to enforcing the rules or even notifying consumers and retailers when the agency knows they have been broken.

“CFIA is choosing to ignore blatant examples of misleading or fraudulent product claims.  The record shows that consumers need protection from some companies who resort to fraudulent and misleading practices.  Rather than dismantling its Consumer Protection Unit, the government should be prosecuting companies that defraud consumers,” says Bob Jackson, PSAC Regional Vice- President for British Columbia.

The CFIA has been retreating from its consumer protection mandate.

Recently, the Agency ordered its consumer protection inspectors to stop verifying the temperature of products in refrigerated and heated food display cabinets in retail outlets.

This is a food safety concern.  Product temperatures in display cabinets that are either too high or not low enough can create the risk of food borne illness.

In Ontario, the CFIA’s consumer protection unit known as the Fair Labeling Practices Program has been cut by 50%.  Just one inspector is now responsible for consumer protection in every retail food outlet in the City of Toronto.

Toronto

 1 inspector, 2 positions vacant

Markham

 2 inspectors

Hamilton

 2 inspectors, 3 positions vacant not being filled

London

 2 inspectors, 2 position vacant

Barrie

 1 inspector

North Bay

 1 position vacant

Belleville

 1 position vacant

Thunder Bay

 1 inspector

Ottawa

 2 inspectors

“Inspectors who belong to these units care deeply about the work the work they do protecting consumers from fraudulent claims and potential threats to safety.  They push CFIA executives to enforce the rules and prosecute violators. Without their advocacy, the CFIA will drop consumer protection all together,” Kingston said.

-30-

For more information:

Jim Thompson
613-447-9592
jim@thompsoncom.ca

Bill Tieleman,
Weststar Communications
Cell 778-896-0964  Office 604-844-7827

Backgrounder

The federal government plans to cut the CFIA’s food safety program by $35 million and 192 positions by 2016/17.

Food Safety Spending and Staff

Source: CFIA 2014-15 Estimates Report on Plans and Priorities, Treasury Board of Canada

Related Documents:

News conference Speaking Notes

For Immediate Release

Canadian Food Inspection Agency cuts sink consumer protection against food fraud in Metro Vancouver

Vancouver (22 April 2014) – The unit of food inspectors dedicated to protecting consumers and retailers in Metro Vancouver from food fraud and unsafe retail food displays has been disbanded.

Metro Vancouver is now the only major metropolitan area in Canada without a dedicated CFIA team of inspectors whose mandate is to protect consumers from false claims about food products, fraudulent product weights, misleading product descriptions and unsafe retail food displays.

The Consumer Protection Unit serving Metro Vancouver has been disbanded in the shadow of Ottawa’s plans to cut the CFIA’s food safety program by $35 million and 192 food safety positions by 2016/17.

The Metro Vancouver Consumer Protection inspectorate has been allowed to wither from 11 when the program was first established in the mid-1990s to just 4 inspectors today.  Victoria and Kelowna have two consumer protection inspectors each, down from three in each city when the program first came on stream.

The Unit was disbanded at the end of January. Today, the remaining inspectors have been embedded in other CFIA teams where they are supposed to pursue consumer protection work.

At the same time, the CFIA is forecasting a much reduced consumer protection inspection plan in Metro Vancouver this year.  As a result, local consumers face an increased risk of exposure to food fraud and safety hazards.

“With fewer inspectors, even this reduced plan to prevent consumer fraud and food safety problems will likely be impossible to complete,” says Bob Kingston, President of the Agriculture Union – PSAC that represents federal food inspectors.

The 2014 consumer protection inspection plan includes:

 

  • Fewer ground meat inspections.  This means there will be less checking of fat content, filler and fraudulent species claims (it is not uncommon for some companies to mix pork or other species with their beef).

 

  • No oil inspections, even though oil adulteration has been a big problem.  Olive oil is often cut with less expensive oils, or extra virgin olive oil cut with regular olive oil .

 

  • Fewer independent food retailers will be inspected this year.

 

-2-

 

Responsibility for inspecting and enforcing laws and regulations related to consumer fraud in food products rests with Canada’s food inspection agency, the CFIA.   Yet, the agency has a very poor track record when it comes to enforcing the rules or even notifying consumers and retailers when the agency knows they have been broken.

“CFIA is choosing to ignore blatant examples of misleading or fraudulent product claims.  The record shows that consumers need protection from some companies who resort to fraudulent and misleading practices.  Rather than dismantling its Consumer Protection Unit, the government should be prosecuting companies that defraud consumers,” says Bob Jackson, PSAC Regional Vice- President for British Columbia.

The CFIA has been retreating from its consumer protection mandate.

Recently, the Agency ordered its consumer protection inspectors to stop verifying the temperature of products in refrigerated and heated food display cabinets in retail outlets.

This is a food safety concern.  Product temperatures in display cabinets that are either too high or not low enough can create the risk of food borne illness.

In Ontario, the CFIA’s consumer protection unit known as the Fair Labeling Practices Program has been cut by 50%.  Just one inspector is now responsible for consumer protection in every retail food outlet in the City of Toronto.

Toronto

 1 inspector, 2 positions vacant

Markham

 2 inspectors

Hamilton

 2 inspectors, 3 positions vacant not being filled

London

 2 inspectors, 2 position vacant

Barrie

 1 inspector

North Bay

 1 position vacant

Belleville

 1 position vacant

Thunder Bay

 1 inspector

Ottawa

 2 inspectors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Inspectors who belong to these units care deeply about the work the work they do protecting consumers from fraudulent claims and potential threats to safety.  They push CFIA executives to enforce the rules and prosecute violators. Without their advocacy, the CFIA will drop consumer protection all together,” Kingston said.

 

-30-

For more information:

Jim Thompson

613-447-9592

jim@thompsoncom.ca

Bill Tieleman,

Weststar Communications

Cell 778-896-0964  Office 604-844-7827

 

Food Safety Spending and Staff

 

 

 

 

Related Documents:

Speaking Notes

Speaking Notes 

Canadian Food Inspection Agency cuts sink consumer protection against food fraud in Metro Vancouver

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bob Kingston, President

Agriculture Union – PSAC

Bob Jackson,

Regional Vice-President

Public Service Alliance of Canada

Vancouver

Check Against Delivery

 

Good morning and thanks for coming out.

We have invited you here to discuss an important cut to consumer protection recently made by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

My name is Bob Kingston and I am the President of the Agriculture Union.

We represent federal food inspectors, including those who work here in Metro Vancouver in the now disbanded Consumer Protection Unit.

I myself have been a 25-year inspector, including 15 years as an inspection supervisor.

Joining me this morning is Bob Jackson.  Bob is the PSAC Regional Vice-President for BC.  Bob has worked at the CFIA for over thirty years.

We are both currently on leave from the Agency.

Metro Vancouver is now the only major metropolitan centre in Canada without a group of food inspectors dedicated to protecting consumers from food fraud.

As of the end of January, the Consumer Protection Unit here was disbanded.

Today, the remaining consumer protection inspectors — fewer than half of the original compliment — have been embedded in other CFIA teams.

Without leadership and co-ordination and under pressure to address other priorities, work to protect consumers in Metro Vancouver from food fraud is being moved to the sidelines.

For example, a much reduced consumer protection workplan has been established for this year.  In 2014, there will be:

  •  60% fewer ground meat inspections than there were in 2013.  This means there will be less checking of fat content, filler and fraudulent species claims.   It is not uncommon for some companies to mix pork or other species with their beef.
  •  No oil inspections, even though oil adulteration has been a big problem.  Olive oil is often cut with less expensive oils, or extra virgin olive oil cut with regular olive oil or pumice olive oil.
  •  Less than half of the independent food retailers inspected in 2013 will be inspected this year.

In 2014, the CFIA will continue to ignore consumer fraud in restaurants.  Menus will not be routinely checked as they once were for product substitution, misrepresentations and short measure.

Looking back, the Metro Vancouver Consumer Protection inspectorate has been allowed to wither from 11 when the program was first established in the mid-1990s to just 4 inspectors today.

Elsewhere in BC, Victoria and Kelowna have two consumer protection inspectors each, down from three in each city when the program first came on stream.

With fewer inspectors, even this reduced plan to prevent consumer fraud and food safety problems will likely be impossible to complete.

These inspectors play a very important role.

They watch for fraudulent claims; products that claim to be organic when they are not, for example. They check for fraudulent product weights and monitor misleading product descriptions.

Until recently, they also checked for unsafe product temperatures in food stores.

Because of diminishing budgets the Agency ordered its consumer protection inspectors to stop this practice.

This is a food safety concern.  Product temperatures in display cabinets that are either too high or not low enough can create the risk of food borne illness.

Labels on all of the sample products on the table here make various claims about what’s inside the wrapper.

Not all, but some companies have misled or outright lied to consumers about their products.

How are consumers supposed to know if this bread is organic, as it claims to be? Or, if this bottle of oil is in fact extra virgin olive oil?

They can’t know unless we are checking and, increasingly, we are not.

[Bob Jackson]

What is driving these decisions?

The simple answer is cuts to the CFIA’s budget.

According to the latest federal government forecast, Ottawa plans to cut the CFIA’s food safety program by $35 million and 192 food safety positions by 2016/17.

The entire food safety program will be affected, but the brunt of the cuts will be made to meat and poultry inspection.

Check your kits for background on these plans.

Responsibility for inspecting and enforcing laws and regulations related to consumer fraud in food products rests with Canada’s food inspection agency, the CFIA.

Yet, the agency has a very poor track record when it comes to enforcing the rules or even notifying consumers and retailers when the agency knows they have been broken.

CFIA is choosing to ignore blatant examples of misleading or fraudulent product claims.  The record shows that consumers need protection from some companies who resort to fraudulent and misleading practices.  Rather than dismantling its Consumer Protection Unit, the government should be prosecuting companies that defraud consumers.

[Kingston]

Inspectors who belong to these units care deeply about the work the work they do protecting consumers from fraudulent claims and potential threats to safety.  They push CFIA executives to enforce the rules and prosecute violators.

We have already reached the bare minimum of inspection to protect consumers from food fraud and worse.  These cuts take us over that line.

We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

-30-

 

For information: Jim Thompson 613-447-9592