Canadian Food Inspection Agency cuts cause Vancouver food inspectors unit to disband

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      Consumers purchasing food items, such as ground meat and oils, may want to proceed with caution in the coming months. The unit of food inspectors dedicated to protecting Metro Vancouver residents from food fraud and unsafe food has disbanded.

      In 2012, the federal government announced plans to the cut the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s food safety budget by $35 million by 2016, resulting in a loss of 192 food safety positions.

      According to the Agriculture Union, there were 11 food inspectors dedicated to Metro Vancouver when the program was established in the mid-1990s. Prior to disbanding, only four inspectors remained.

      Vancouver is now the only major metropolitan area in Canada without allocated food inspectors. The four remaining CFIA inspectors have been integrated into other consumer-protection teams.

      “CFIA is choosing to ignore blatant examples of misleading or fraudulent product claims,” Bob Jackson, a representative for the Agriculture Union, stated in a news release. “The record shows that consumers need protection from some companies who resort to fraudulent and misleading practices.  Rather than dismantling its Consumer Protection Unit, the government should be prosecuting companies that defraud consumers.”

      With no dedicated team of food inspectors, the CIFA will also be reducing its consumer inspection plan, which includes fewer ground meat inspections, no oil inspections, and fewer independent food retailer inspections. Ground meat is often checked on fat content, filler, and fraudulent species claims. Oils, such as olive oils, are usually inspected for mixing oils and cutting more expensive oils for cheaper ones.

      The CIFA recently stopped verifying the temperatures in refrigerated and heated food displays in grocery stores.

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      Chris Hoffman!

      Apr 22, 2014 at 10:34pm

      Sounds Scary to Me!


      Apr 23, 2014 at 10:41am

      The Harper Doctrine:

      Better to kill the poor than tax the rich.


      Apr 23, 2014 at 12:41pm

      Remember XL Foods in 2012? The largest beef recall in Canadian history? Back then, the Harper Government (™) assured Canadians that they'd put things right, and then-Fed. Minister of Agriculture Gerry Ritz made this promise: "We will continue to work on bolstering our food safety system by improving inspections, strengthening food safety and recalls, and passing things like Bill S-11,".

      Looks like there's a lot more bull-feces coming out of Brooks, Alberta.


      Apr 23, 2014 at 1:37pm

      time to start eating locally & organically. reach out to local farmers and know where your food is coming from. go to the farmers markets and support local economy.