Food-safety workers among hardest-hit by Harper budget cuts
Veterinarians and other inspectors responsible for food recalls and ensuring the safety of Canadian meat are among the hundreds of federal public servants who will be told this week their jobs are at risk.
The Globe and Mail has learned that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Agriculture Canada will be among the hardest-hit departments as Ottawa rolls out where it will cut 19,200 jobs across the country.
Thanks, feds — now I’m a label inspector too
In the budget they released last week, the government announced it would “change how the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) monitors and enforces non-health and non-safety food labelling regulations … The CFIA will introduce a web-based label verification tool that encourages consumers to bring validated concerns directly to companies and associations for resolution.”
Just one question for you, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, you of the listeria jokes four years ago: How am I supposed to know when a label is dodgy? I’m not trained in food science. I’m not a dietitian.
Is this the same government that in early 2011 passed Bill-C36 The consumer product safety act into law? Is it the same government that has continued the NPN (natural health number) program? Yes it is!
The consumer product safety act, totally undermines the rule of law, but was seen as totally necessary by this government. The now law allows:
- the State access onto private property without any legal recourse.
- warrants to be issued to search private homes without evidence of criminal wrong doing.
- the State to seize property without a Court order, without reporting the seizure to a Court, and for an indefinite period.
- the State to assume control over the movement of private property without a Court order and without a safety concern.
- Persons can be fined and have property forfeited to the State for administrative violations. Persons so charged have no right to have a Court determine their guilt or innocence. Guilt is determined by the Minister. There is no defence of due diligence or of honest but mistaken belief. There does not have to be a safety risk to be charged with an administrative offence. The Minister who determines your guilt or innocence can keep seized property if he/she finds you guilty.
The natural product number (NPN) system, had been in the works from 2004, and was fully implemented in 2011.
“How does the NPN system effect us the consumers? For a company to obtain a license to sell something as simple as oil of oregano (for example), that company must perform extensive testing on that product to prove it is safe. Unfortunately this testing can cost as much as several hundred thousand dollars (per product). Essentially putting the small to medium sized business’s out of business.
Foreign companies cannot justify that kind of an investment into the small Canadian market place and decide to no longer ship their products here.”
Since 2004 over 30,000 natural health products ave been removed from the Canadian market.
To implement and enforce the consumer product safety act, and the NPN system. Health Canada had to hire thousands of new employees and inspectors. Are their jobs on the cutting block as well? Of course not.
When the federal governments body to ensure safe foods and products for the people of Canada. Cuts back jobs and funding in area’s that are meant to protect us from dangers in the processed foods industry. Another great example of this is in the area of pharmaceuticals.
“What kind of “modernizations” should we expect to emerge from Health Canada’s artfully stage-managed “technical consultations”? First and perhaps most important could be a shift of the burden of proof. The “precautionary principle” would be scrapped if drug companies had their way. So, instead of the drug industry having to prove that its products are (comparatively) safe before they can be licensed, new products would be presumed to be safe unless critics can prove that they are more harmful than beneficial.”
And then spends large amounts of money to restrict our abilities to gain access to natural health products, and totally undermines the rule of law to “keep us safe”.
The question must be asked. Is Canadian government doing everything that they can to keep you and your family safe, or are they bowing to corporate interests?