“Nothing about the CFIA would surprise me”, said Karen Selick, in a comment on a recent post on The Bovine. Well, here’s another case in point. Why should different, and higher, standards apply for meats being exported to Japan, than for meats sold to Canadians? Do Canadians not matter? Are Japanese export customers more important than Canadians? Is that what the CFIA was thinking? For those who might have wondered, when they read the story in the media a few months ago about the massive recall of meat from XL Foods in Brooks, Alberta, how such a thing could happen in a plant where 40 some CFIA inspectors are on the job, the memo described in the story below may be the answer. However, the report on this scandalous memo is not exactly as “out there” as the original recall story. Merely a few column inches on page 3 of today’s paper.
From the Toronto Star newspaper:
“Federal beef inspectors were told to ignore contamination on carcasses being processed for sale to Canadians at the XL Foods plant.
A memo from a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) meat hygiene supervisor obtained by CTV News instructed CFIA inspectors to closely examine carcasses being processed for shipment to Japan, but to ignore visible contamination on meat for Canadians.
“Our number 1 priority is to ensure this standard is met with Japan eligible carcasses,” said the memo. Continue reading →
Yet another case of regulatory excess — story by Sam Cooper of The Province, as published in the Abbotsford Mission Times:
Len Gratto on his property in Mission on Sat. Jan. 8, 2011. Len Gratto is ready to join an "imminent class action" law suit against Mission, for hitting him with a 5,200 grow op inspection fee. The 67 year old says he and his wife were growing cucumbers in the basement, he never grew pot, and he and many other Mission residents are being unfairly searched and fined. Photo by: Les Bazso, PNG
“There’s no way Len Gratto is paying a $5,200 fine to Mission city hall for growing cucumbers in his basement.
Gratto – a 67-year-old who has lived for 30 years with his wife in their Mission home – says he’s raring to join an imminent class-action lawsuit attacking the municipality’s grow-op bylaw inspections. Continue reading →
From Doug Powell on Barfblog:
“The dean of Canadian food and farm reporting, Jim Romahn, has written a powerful piece about the continuing failures in Canadian meat inspection – failures that had to be pointed out by Americans.
More than a year after 21 people died after eating Maple Leaf Foods Inc. products contaminated with Listeria monocytoges, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency was failing to enforce its own standards and there was sloppy follow-up when hazardous conditions were identified.
Those worrisome facts are contained in a report prepared by two U.S. inspectors who visited in the fall of 2009 to check Canada’s compliance with its own standards. They visited headquarters in Ottawa, 23 meat-processing plants and two labs. Continue reading →