Harper ignores health risks for food
Government meat inspectors' powers reduced in March without public discussion.
by Bonnie Brown, MP, in The Oakville Beaver
A leaked document shows that last November the Harper cabinet approved a plan to cut funding to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and to allow the food industry to inspect itself. Critical meat inspections, cuts to BSE testing and avian influenza preparedness would all be effected. Sure enough, last March this system was implemented without public knowledge or discussion.
Federal inspectors now do random safety tests only a few times a year at any given plant and meat packers test each type of product only monthly. Under the old system, inspectors were present on the plant floor doing independent inspections themselves, with broad freedom to investigate. At the Maple Leaf plant behind the listeriosis outbreak, the government's inspection role was reduced to a single person who simply audits the company's self inspection paperwork. This person is also responsible for several other plants.
Tragically, all of this only came to light after people began dying...
Related individuals, organizations and significant events
Food inspection deregulation a 'disaster', July 28, 2008
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Harper ignores health risks, by Bonnie Brown, MP, in The Oakville Beaver, August 30, 2008
Posted: September 03, 2008
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