Sunday, September 28, 2008
Harper/Ritz Fact Check...Part 3...Listeriosis
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced he would introduce a range of new initiatives to protect consumers.
“Canadian families and taxpayers need a government that will deliver real consumer protection,” he said.
Mr. Harper talks tough about protecting consumers but he has abandoned the most basic principle of all - the safety of foods for Canadians.
“The listeriosis epidemic is a timely reminder that the Harper government has reversed much of the progress that previous governments made on governing for public health.” (Canadian Medical Association Journal, September 16, 2008)
“Right now, we're walking in a fog...We don't have any idea what foods are making us sick in this country…” (Rick Holley, a food-safety expert at the University of Manitoba, September 22, 2008)
“Government policy errors helped bring about this epidemic.” (Canadian Medical Association Journal, September 16, 2008)
“The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, by its very name, leads Canadians to believe that it inspects food. Trying to pass off the inspection agency’s duties to industry is a disgusting abrogation of its duties. The cuts are not in the interests of the consumers of Canada.” (Bruce Cran, president of the Consumers’ Association of Canada, Edmonton Journal, June 15, 2008)
“Overall, it would seem that as a country, Canada is far less prepared now for epidemics than in the past,” (Canadian Medical Association Journal, September 16, 2008).
“The changes, which took effect in April 2008, have dismayed meat inspectors, particularly the fact that they can no longer take immediate action to clean up contaminated plants, say the head of the union for federal food safety inspectors.” (Canadian Medical Association Journal, September 16, 2008)
“They’re moving towards the U.S. model, where the inspectors don’t actually do the inspection, they just oversee and the companies actually do the inspection. That’s a really dangerous thing.” (Michael Hansen, BSE senior scientist with the NY based Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, The Leader−Post June 12, 2008)
“Companies are in business to make profit, pure and simple, and we, as a society have fully accepted and bought into that, but with the understanding that somebody will be riding herd on them – minding the shop – to safeguard societal interests. Otherwise, history has shown that we are at risk.” (Ann Clark, professor, University of Guelph, The Leader−Post June 12, 2008)
And that, my friends, is a reality check.