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Archived - Statement
Canada Has A Strong Food Safety System

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The Agriculture Union representing the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) inspectorate is unnecessarily undermining Canadians' confidence in their food safety system

Claims that food safety activities have been cut in Northern Alberta are false.

The CFIA is proud of the Conference Board of Canada rating Canada's food safety system number 1 out of 17 OECD countries including the United States.

Differences in meat inspection systems between the US and Canada are related to trade standards - not food safety. These include additional activities that certify labelling and meat cut classifications.

The Agency's overall spending has increased significantly to the highest levels in Canadian history due to the government's increased investments in food safety.

The Government of Canada has invested over $517 million in various food safety initiatives, since 2008. More recently, in Budget 2014, the Government has provided $153.6 million over five years to strengthen the CFIA's preventive food safety oversight programs.

The Agriculture Union is aware that the number of Field Inspection Staff in regions fluctuates due to changes in demand for service and the nature of inspection work focusing on areas of highest risk which can include regional emergencies and enforcement action.

Whether it's federal or industry staff, a food safety inspector is on the ground at all times in every federally-registered meat slaughter plant in Canada. A comprehensive system of inspection tasks are routinely carried out in federally-registered meat processing plants. The CFIA continues to ensure that all of these tasks are met in every establishment. Everyone has a role to play – the CFIA's is to provide oversight and ensure federally registered facilities are complying with Canada's strict food safety rules.

Industry is expected to ensure that Canada's strict food safety rules and regulations are met across Canada at all times.

The CFIA will continue to work to ensure the food on Canadian tables remains safe and continuously improve our strong food safety system.

B.A. (Bruce) Archibald, PhD
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Kelvin Mathuik
Area Director General, Western Operations
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

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