“Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz misled the Senate when he was introducing a bill to update food inspection and safety earlier this year.
He said several times that Canada compares favourably with other countries and at one point said we consistently get an A+ rating.
Our most important trading partner, the United States, doesn’t use ratings, let alone handing out A+s.
I don’t have all of the other nations’ audit reports of Canada at my disposal, but I do have the audits done by the United States. Canada frankly rates poorly, judging by comments about critical deficiencies that need attention.
Even banana republics, such as Brazil, get better reviews from the American inspectors.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture hasn’t posted its recent annual reports on Canada; the most recent one is for 2009.
It notes that conditions in three Canadian plants the U.S. auditors visited were so poor that they were banned from exporting to the United States. Three additional plants were deemed seriously deficient.
There is no indication that Canadian Food Inspection Agency executives from head office in Ottawa, who accompany American inspectors during these audits, disagreed with the findings.
There is also no indication that the Canadian plants were shut down until they could meet Canadian standards. They likely kept on grinding out food for an unsuspecting Canadian public….”
Of course the implied message here is that the considerable resources which have been so far expended on persecuting raw milk advocates such as Michael Schmidt might have been redeployed to address systemic food safety issues in the industrial food sector. But for some strange reasons that doesn’t seem to be happening. Could it be that the regulatory pressure on raw milk is really about something else besides food safety?