Surveys suck: Canadians continue to have confidence in Canada’s food safety myths

Canadians paid $93,000 for 1,009 of their fellow citizens to get probed.

A lot.

That $93,000 – and weeks of civil servant salaries – also reminded Canadians they were confident in Canada’s food safety system.

According to results from a recent study commissioned by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). 93 per cent of Canadians surveyed expressed a degree of confidence in Canada’s food safety system

I’m not sure what a degree of confidence is, but that didn’t stop Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz from proclaiming, with a straight face, “Canadians trust this government to protect the safety of Canada’s food supply and rightly so.”

The final, awful study Food Safety: Canadians’ Awareness, Attitudes and Behaviours PDF (2,024 kb) (POR 029-11) can be found on the Library and Archives Canada’s website at

Specific objectives of the research included:

• probe Canadians’ views on the government’s food safety communications and provision of food safety information, including allergen information;
• probe Canadians’ understanding of food inspections and the role of a federal food inspector;
• probe Canadians’ understanding of the food safety system and the role of the CFIA;
• probe Canadians’ understanding of standards for imported foods and labelling; and,
• probe Canadians’ information needs and channel preferences.