The Harper government has quietly tabled a plan to cut spending on food safety!
Ottawa (18 Mar. 2011) - For the Harper government, it’s “buyer beware” when it comes to food safety. With this approach, food products in Canada should be labelled “Eat at Your Own Risk."
Harper’s plan, contained in the Main Estimates that were tabled in Parliament on March 1, is clear. It projects a 10% cut - or $30 million - to the Food Safety and Nutrition Risks budget of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). This envelope of money is used to fund food inspection and safety programs. The cuts will be implemented in April 2011.
This massive reduction in funding will have devastating consequences to Canada’s food safety program. It will ensure that the federal government will never implement the recommendations to fix the system made following the deaths of 22 people as result of eating contaminated Maple Leaf Foods cold cuts.
The government continues to ignore the most important of these reforms in favour of handing off ever greater responsibilities to the food industry to self-police safety in their own food factories.
Food Safety First, a network of thousands of Canadians who are concerned about the safety of our food has launched a petition calling on the government to restore food safety funding in the March 22 federal budget and to implement all of the recommendations made in the wake of the Maple Leaf listeriosis outbreak.
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 that our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE