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Implicit Location : United States
Harper government backtracks on food safety
The weak food safety and inspection system of 2008 saw 23 people die from Listeriosis tainted cold cuts.
Ottawa (17 Jan. 2012) - Public pressure on the Harper government forced important changes to the food safety system. There was increased funding for inspectors and an increase in inspections of meat plants.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's recent report states, “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. A reduction of 234 inspectors on the ground will inevitably have impacts.
These cuts are sure to undermine consumer confidence in the safety of Canadian food products.
Recent history shows us that reducing funding and the number of food inspectors puts the public at risk. In 2008 an outbreak of Listeriosis was linked to packaged cold cuts and further connected to the poor inspection practices.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE