Safe Food for Canadians Act in its Final Review and Third Reading
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
The Safe Foods for Canadians Act – Bill S-11 that was put forward by the Harper Government and was tabled on June 7, 2012, seeks to strengthen and modernize the country’s food safety system is in its final stage for passage. The Act was adopted by the Senate on Oct. 17, 2012 and last week, the Agriculture and Agri-Food Standing Committee completed its final review and sent it to the House of Commons for its third reading.
The new food act would enhance the way food safety is administered in Canada and will allow inspection and enforcement powers to be consistent across all food commodities. It will also give more powers to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, providing them with more authority to address food safety risks.
The key highlights of the Act include:
• Have tougher penalties for activities that put food safety and human health at risk
• Enhanced control over imported food commodities
• Implement a more consistent and rigorous inspection process for food commodities
• Strengthen food traceability initiatives
The Act has been a long time in the making and was a result of a recommendation that was outlined in a report that was published in 2009 following the 2008 Listeriosis outbreak. The report recommended that the government modernize the federal legislation that is related to food safety. The act will be vital to ensure that both food safety and consumer confidence remains a priority.