|Safe Food for Canadians Act Introduced|
|Written by Sharon Vanhouwe|
|Friday, 08 June 2012 10:55|
The Harper Government has introduced the Safe Food for Canadians Act.
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says the Act will strengthen the Government's ability to protect Canadian families from potentially unsafe food.
The proposed Safe Food for Canadians Act will improve food oversight by instituting a more consistent inspection regime across all food
It will implement tougher penalties for activities that put the health and safety of Canadians at risk, providing better control over imports and exports; and strengthen food traceability.
New penalties are also being added for recklessly endangering the lives of Canadians through tampering, deceptive practices or hoaxes.
The Act will consolidate the Fish Inspection Act, the Canada Agricultural Products Act, the Meat Inspection Act, and the food provisions of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act.
It aligns inspection and enforcement powers across all food commodities, improving the safety of food as well as reducing overlap and helping industry better understand and comply with food safety law.
Ritz says by further aligning Canada's food safety system with those of our key trading partners, the Act will enhance international market opportunities for the Canadian food industry.
A new authority in the Act will allow certification of any food commodity for export and increase global confidence in Canadian food.
It will also strengthen controls over imported food commodities, introduce powers to register or license regulated parties, and prohibit the importation of unsafe foods.
The Canadian Cattlemen's Association President says the new Act will address important issues in Canada's beef cattle industry by improving control over imports and enabling traceability to move forward.
Martin Unrau says he's particularly pleased that under the Act, imported foods will be required to meet the same standards that Canadian producers and processors now meet.
And, he says the regulation-enabling section of the Act will provide for the advancement of the national traceability system that the Canadian beef cattle industry has been diligently working on for years.
The benefits of traceability in the beef cattle industry include disease control and response, support for market access, product differentiation and consumer confidence.
The Canola Council of Canada also welcomes the introduction of the Safe Food for Canadians Act.
President Patti Miller says the federal government's food safety modernization initiatives will complement the industry's commitment to providing safe and high quality canola oil.