Food safety questioned

Why won’t (local MPs) act correctly and do the right thing to ensure that my food is safe to eat?

Open letter to Kelowna–Lake Country MP Ron Cannan:

For our recent Thanksgiving dinner, the problems at XL Foods have caused me to question the safety of the food I was  about to put on my table.

I have just read the Canadian Food Inspection Agency food recall reports from Jan 1, 2009, to Oct. 4, 2012, available at the website www.active.inspection.gc.ca.

During the past 45 months while you have been in Ottawa, there were a total of 594 CFIA food recall reports issued due to microbiological contamination, including salmonella, listeria and E. coli.

The sheer number of these reports is staggering and raises the question:  Is Canada’s food supply safe?

During the first nine months of 2012, there were 152 CFIA food recall reports issued involving microbiological contaminants, including three reports involving the XL Foods processing facility in Brooks, Alta.

Projecting these year-to-date numbers forward to the end of 2012 shows that CFIA is on track to issue 202 food recall reports caused by microbial contaminants.

Recent press reports have criticized the federal minister of agriculture and the owners of XL Foods for not taking responsibility to exercise their due diligence to protect the public food supply.

Apparently, current legislation prohibits federal prosecution of XL Foods for contaminating the food supply. What’s going on in Ottawa anyway?

Why won’t you act correctly and do the right thing to ensure that my food is safe to eat?

Why won’t you do the right thing and stop deregulating industries, particularly those industries that pollute the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat?

Clearly, Canada needs better public policies, more effective legislation, more stringent enforcement and more public spending to support the mandates of CFIA, Health Canada, Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to ensure protection of the food supply over the long-term.

When are you going to start voting to support all Canadians instead of just industry?

When are you going to start changing your voting behaviour in the House of Commons and begin voting for a cleaner environment, for a healthier food supply and for more stringent federal regulatory oversight that will actually protect—rather than jeopardize—public health and safety?

Richard Drinnan,

Kelowna