Food safety undermined

MP Ron Cannan is supporting legislation that will reduce food safety oversight and make major cuts to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

To the editor:

MP Ron Cannan is supporting legislation that will reduce food safety oversight and make major cuts to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Canadians remember the devastating impact on many families from deaths caused by the listeriosis outbreaks. We know that more needs to be done to protect consumers, but in a callous and misguided move the Conservatives are making the problem worse. They have decided to reduce food inspectors and eliminate programs designed to proactively identify unsafe meat and other food products.

Bowing to industry pressure, Conservatives are also eliminating enforcement of product labelling in spite of widespread violations. Consumers will now be responsible for determining whether companies’ claims about nutritional information, such as levels of cholesterol, sodium and sugar, are true. For those with serious health conditions like peanut allergies or diabetes, false claims could prove deadly.

Waiting for Canadians to get sick is not a food safety strategy.

Liberals are opposing these cuts because Canadians deserve to know the food they buy is safe and that manufacturers’ health claims are true.

Frank Valeriote, MP

Liberal Party Critic for Agriculture