No To Smart Regulation, Keep Canadian Food Inspection System Independent

Posted on Tuesday, April 12 at 15:00 by sthompson
Dr. Gerard Lambert warns against relying on other countries' testing. "If food is not tested properly it will contaminate our food chain very rapidly. Testing after the fact is too late." He added, "Bill C-27 is about harmonizing with US regulations. It is not about protecting the health of Canadians." Bill C-27 would allow the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to accept testing and certification results from other countries. The government has said this legislation will make Canada’s food and agriculture regulatory system more similar to the American system. However, the U.S. system currently permits irradiation of meat, which is not allowed in Canada, has failed to meet World Health Organization guidelines for preventing BSE, and relies on voluntary compliance when companies are found in violation of its regulations. Furthermore, U.S. whistle-blower scientists who act in the public interest are not protected. "This government's 'Smart Regulation' legislative renewal project, which includes Bill C-27, is what I describe as the 'Corporatization of Knowledge' -- instituting private interests ahead of the public good," says Dr. Shiv Chopra, who along with colleagues Dr. Margaret Haydon and Dr. Gerard Lambert, blew the whistle on conflicts of interests in Health Canada’s drug approval process. "We will request the postponement of the entire legislative renewal process until after a full public inquiry into what we, as scientists, have been suffering on account of the pressure exerted on us to pass drugs and other products and methods of questionable safety." The scientists will appear as witnesses at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-food, Room 253-D Centre Block at 3:30 PM, April 12. Canadians opposed to Bill C-27 can fax a letter of concern to their MP from the Beyond Factory Farming Coalition web site, www.beyondfactoryfarming.org. The BFF Coalition is a network of local, provincial and national groups including the Council of Canadians. It promotes livestock production that supports food sovereignty, ecological, human and animal health, as well as sustainability and community viability and informed citizen/consumer choice. -30- For more information: Cathy Holtslander, Beyond Factory Farming Project Organizer, (306) 955-6454 or cellular (306) 229-4075 Jan Malek, Council of Canadians (613) 233-4487 ext. 231 COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE POUR DIFFUSION IMMÉDIATE le 12 avril 2005 Des scientifiques disent qu’il faut préserver l’indépendance du système canadien d’inspection des aliments Le Canada risque de perdre sa capacité de faire des tests indépendants et la capacité d’inspection dont il a besoin pour protéger la santé et la sécurité des Canadiens si le projet de loi C-27 sur l’Agence canadienne d’inspection des aliments devait être adopté, affirment d’éminents scientifiques du Canada et des États-Unis qui s’adressont au Comité permanent de l’agriculture et de l’agro-alimentaire de la Chambre des communes cet après-midi. Le Dr Lester Friedlander, ancien vétérinaire du département de l’Agriculture des États Unis (USDA) et ancien inspecteur des viandes, dit que « les règlements sont enfreints chaque jour aux États-Unis parce que le gouvernement ne les applique pas, en permettant par exemple de nourrir le bétail avec des protéines animales. » C’est qu’il a vu se produire aux États-Unis et il croit que le problème est en train de se poser au Canada. Mettant les Canadiens en garde contre l’adoption des règles et des pratiques d’inspection des États-Unis, le Dr Friedlander dit : « le public doit réclamer que l’organisme gouvernemental qui fait la promotion des grandes sociétés agricoles ne soit pas celui qui assure en même temps la fonction de la réglementation de la salubrité des aliments. Il faut un véritable organisme distinct de protection des consommateurs. » Le Dr Gérard Lambert affirme qu’il ne faut pas se fier sur les tests des autres pays. « Si les aliments ne sont pas testés convenablement, ils vont contaminer notre chaîne alimentaire très rapidement. Quand on teste après le fait, il est trop tard. Le projet de loi C-27 a trait à l’harmonisation avec les règlements des États-Unis. Il n’a pas pour objet de protéger la santé des Canadiens. » Il permettrait à l’Agence canadienne d’inspection des aliments (ACIA) d’accepter les résultats des tests et de la certification des autres pays. Le gouvernement a dit que cette loi rendra le système de réglementation des aliments et de l’agriculture du Canada plus semblable à celui des États-Unis. Mais le système américain permet actuellement l’irradiation de la viande, contrairement au Canada, il n’a pas respecté les lignes directrices de l’Organisation mondiale de la santé en matière de prévention de la maladie de la vache folle et il s’en remet à la conformité volontaire quand il découvre que des sociétés violent ses règles. En outre, les scientifiques américains qui dénoncent la situation dans l’intérêt public ne sont pas protégés. « Ce projet de renouveau législatif et de ‘réglementation intelligente’ du gouvernement qui comprend le projet de loi C-27 est ce que j’appelle la corporatisation de la connaissance, qui établit la préséance des intérêts privés sur le bien public, » dit le Dr Shiv Shopra, qui a dénoncé, avec ses collègues le Dr Margaret Haydon et le Dr Gérard Lambert, les conflits d’intérêts du processus d’approbation des médicaments de Santé Canada. « Nous allons demander le report de tout le processus de renouveau législatif jusqu’à la fin d’une enquête publique complète sur ce que nous, les scientifiques, avons subi comme pression pour nous obliger à adopter des médicaments et d’autres produits et méthodes dont la sécurité était douteuse. » Les scientifiques comparaîtront comme témoins devant le Comité permanent de l’agriculture et de l’agro alimentaire de la Chambre des communes à la pièce 253-D de l’édifice du Centre à 15 h 30 le 12 avril. Les Canadiens qui s’opposent au projet de loi C-27 peuvent télécopier une lettre à cette fin à leur député en utilisant la lettre qui se trouve sur le site Web de la Coalition Au-delà de l’agriculture industrielle à www.beyondfactoryfarming.org. La Coalition est un réseau de groupes locaux, provinciaux et nationaux dont fait partie le Conseil des Canadiens. Elle favorise la production de bétail qui soutient la souveraineté alimentaire, la santé écologique, humaine et animale et la durabilité, la viabilité communautaire et le choix éclairé des citoyens et des consommateurs. -30- Pour plus de renseignements : Cathy Holtslander, Organisatrice de projet de la Coalition Au-delà de l’agriculture industrielle. Tél. (306) 955-6454 ou cell. (306) 229-4075 Jan Malek, Conseil des Canadiens, (613) 233-4487 poste 231

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  1. Tue Apr 12, 2005 11:44 pm
    I think Canada would be wise to keep their meat inspections and regulations and everything independant as well. The USDA, FDA, and most (if not all) of the consumer protection government agencies in the USA are a joke.

    I've told this story before. I used to drink a lot of diet pepsi, it was my main drink. Diet Pepsi in the USA contains aspartame as the artificial sweetener. I used to drink it all the time because HEY! No calories, and I liked the flavor (a lot). Seemed like a win-win to me.

    Many times over the past few years I have had friends (Canadian) warn me about aspartame, and encourage me to find more information about its side effects. I brushed them off for years. I figured, if its that bad, why are they selling it on store shelves? We have government agencies that protect us from this kind of thing, right?

    Wrong.

    One day after hearing the aspartame lecture once more, I just punched it into google and started looking around. What an eye-opener it was to find out that according to everybody IN THE WHOLE WORLD, except for a handful in the US who said it was safe, aspartame was actually quite dangerous and potentially harmful. It is linked to several neurological disorders, and there have been many independant studies done which show this clearly. Needless to say I dont drink diet pepsi anymore.

    I can go down to the grocery store right now and buy aspartame by the pound if I want to. FDA says its safe. I would invite any thinking person here to investigate aspartame themselves, the truth is plain to see.

    Everybody who is familar with me here knows that I am very patriotic, and that I love this country (USA) and sometimes take personal offense when others criticize. Knowing that, consider this.

    There isn't any credibility here, do it yourselves. There is no accountability, somewhere along the way the 'right' reasons were replaced with other reasons. Surely someone makes a mountain of cash because of aspartame, if a few people have crippling neurological disorders, no big deal. As long as we have this pile of money.

    I've completely flip-flopped, before I chose to believe the government was doing ITS JOB, and protecting the people from these things. Now I know the truth and I don't trust any of the government agencies which are supposed to protect us. In fact I am highly suspicious and very skeptical of anything and everything coming from the FDA, the USDA, and all the rest. I think these agencies are a complete waste of time and money the way they are being ran now. The number one priority of these government agencies SHOULD be to protect the people. Apparently, somewhere along the way, that priority was replaced with a new one. That priority was to 'do a good job at pretending to protect the people'.

    Canada would be wise to keep its inspections and regulations independant. Knowing you guys, this shouldn't be a hard sell at all :)

  2. Wed Apr 13, 2005 1:49 am
    Right on.R.G.MacDonald.M.D.

  3. Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:51 am
    "Canada would be wise to keep its inspections and regulations independant. Knowing you guys, this shouldn't be a hard sell at all :)"


    It will be an easy sell to everyone except our government.

  4. by avatar Spud
    Wed Apr 13, 2005 3:54 pm
    Good post.Yes it is dangerous.
    Darvin,I am not anti American.Anti-American government and corporate deep integration YES!

  5. Wed Apr 13, 2005 4:45 pm
    We need comprehensive food labelling. Then we could read what's in what we consume. But Cretien adamantly vetoed any such notion, and Harper's Conservatives would support strictly voluntary labelling. And I haven't heard from The NDP. What are the feds (and fed wannabes) hiding (or afraid of)?

  6. by DL
    Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:08 pm
    Yes Darvin I don't know why we fund these agencies who do little to actually protect the public as mandated and seem more interested in supporting the corporate agenda, than protecting the public. I had to toss the idea that "its safe if it's on the shelf" after falling through a hole in the safety net. I see most protection agencies as window dressing their actions speak louder than their spin.



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