Canada lacks oversight of imported foods
Posted: September 26th, 2010 - 7:55am by Doug Powell
An internal Canadian Food Inspection Agency audit, dated July and quietly posted on the agency's website this week, found that the safety of imported foods in Canada is at risk because of multiple "deficiencies" with the agency's oversight system.
Sarah Schmidt of Postmedia News reports the audit also found that the agency never full implemented its 2002 Import Control Policy and that it leaves it up to foreign countries to inspect exports bound for Canada, even though there are no foreign country equivalence controls in place for food commodity programs, other than meat, fish and eggs.
These foods include maple (it’s a staple of the Canadian diet), honey, fresh fruits and vegetables, processed products and non-federally registered products. Non-registered products include beverages, infant formula, confectionary, cereals, spices and seasonings and baked products.
Opposition parties jumped on the findings, accusing the Tory government during question period of failing to protect the health of Canadians while the volume of imported foods has risen to more than $21.8 billion annually.
"Today we learned that the government has no strategy to ensure that health hazards are not entering Canada,” said NDP health critic Megan Leslie.
Canada has no strategy to ensure health hazards are controlled in homegrown foods.
Agriculture Minister Gerry listeria-is-funny Ritz was not in the House of Commons to respond to the attacks.