Canada: Food safety plan rolled out

Source of Article:


Rafe Arnott, The Times

Published: Friday, March 20, 2009

In the wake of a country rocked by deaths and illness from listeriosis, tainted water, mad cow disease, melamine poisoning and avian influenza - not to mention global warming affecting crop production through drought and changing weather patterns - the federal Liberals have put together a dedicated group of politicians, medical doctors and animal health experts to come up with a plan for Canadian food to be safe all the way from the farm to the dinner table.

Dr. Ron Lewis, former chief veterinarian for B.C., was in Abbotsford on Tuesday at a meeting to discuss food safety and security with local farmers, consumers and elected officials that took place at Sammy J. Pepper's.

Lewis was there as a part of the Opposition food caucus and said the group was looking at a national food safety program.

The meeting in Abbotsford included interviewing people from various walks of life who are involved in agriculture - local hog and chicken farmers, berry growers - to get feedback and input on the program.

Hedy Fry, Liberal MP for Vancouver Centre, said the opposition is looking to form a comprehensive national strategy on food safety and food security.

"Safety meaning, how do we ensure the food we're eating is healthy, free from pathogens, free from disease, free from bacteria . . . that it won't make people sick and that it is nutritious?

". . . We set up a plan so that Canadians are going to have food to eat."

With many Canadians dependent on imported food to fill grocery shelves, Fry said some nations could stop exporting food to maintain minimum quotas at home. "There may come a time when countries cut off our supply to feed their own people," Fry said.



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