New Food Act to Enhance Food Safety Inspection in Canada
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
The Safe Food for Canadian’s Act S-11 that was tabled last spring was adopted by the Senate on Wednesday. The Act seeks to modernize food safety and will provide the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) with more authority over inspection.
"Canadian consumers have always been our Government's top priority when it comes to food safety," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "This legislation demonstrates the Harper Government's commitment to strengthening Canada's food safety system and we hope this legislation is passed expeditiously by Members of Parliament."
Some of the specific enhancements include:
• More authority for CFIA inspectors to demand food producers to provide information and documents in a timely manner.
• CFIA authorities can demand that food processors have traceability systems in place as part of regulation requirements.
• Tougher penalties for food processors who don’t meet compliances.
• More control over imports and exports.
• More consistence inspection regime for all food commodities.
The Act was adopted with an amendment that would require the Minister of Agriculture to reassess resources that are allocated for food inspection on a five year basis and would also allow the Auditor General to review the allocation of these resources over the span of five year period at any time.