Canadian food inspectors to report through Health, not Agriculture

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, largely created and run for the first five years by my eventual friend, Ron Doering, is now going to report to Parliament via Health Canada.

My guess is that everyone got tired of the misguided rants about CFIA reporting through Agriculture, and that Agriculture was there to promote doug.ron.jan.13food, not protect public health, and it was an obvious conflict of interest.

Obvious only to conspiracy seekers.

Doering always had a straight answer – food safety has to come first, otherwise there is no market.

To me, the change is cosmetic, like promoters massaging language, so that genetic engineering becomes natural enhancement, or whatever the marketers are pushing these days.

I don’t care who does the regulating and inspection, as long as the results are available for public scrutiny.

Health Canada brags “this reorganization will strengthen Canada’s food safety system by bringing all three authorities responsible for food safety under one Minister. This will ensure clear focus, easy collaboration, and timely communication with Canadians when it comes to food safety. This change also further underscores the CFIA’s commitment to food safety as a top priority.”

According to Canadian Press, food safety in Canada is a three-way:

• Health Canada develops food safety standards and policies and participates in public awareness campaigns about safe food practices;

• CFIA checks that industry meets federal food safety and regulatory requirements; and,

• the public health agency steps in when outbreaks occur, gauging the scope of the problem, providing epidemiology services and advising people how to protect themselves.

Sounds great. Why has the Public Health Agency of Canada been silent for a week about the latest E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in hamburger?