As unbelievable as it may seem, Ottawa has quietly announced plans to roll back important investments to shore up the weak food safety and inspection system that led to the deaths of 23 Canadians poisoned by Maple Leaf Foods tainted cold cuts in 2008.
Ottawa’s plan declares that:
“resources will sunset for Listeriosis, and for increased frequency of food inspection in meat processing establishments” in 2013-14.
That means funding for these critical safety and inspection programs will be cut. And, it is expected that Ottawa will further reduce food safety funding by as much as $74 million in the February budget.
These cuts are sure to undermine consumer confidence in the safety of Canadian food products. They could also cause American regulators to close the border to Canadian meat products because of sub-standard inspection.
If Prime Minister Harper won’t listen to common sense or ordinary citizens, then maybe he will listen to industry leaders.
Please send a message to Michael McCain, President of Maple Leaf Foods – urging him to ask Ottawa to maintain progress we have made to improve food safety and address the critical inspector shortage.
Campaign in the News:
CBC The National: Video: Food safety cuts
London Free Press: Union warns of cuts to federal food inspection
Canadian Cattlemen: Food inspection budget cuts for CFIA jeered
Food Safety News: Food Safety Spending in Canada Might Be Cut
Vancouver Sun – Inspectors criticize plan to cancel food safety initiatives