Safe Food for Canadians Act moves to next round of legislative process

A massive overhaul of the Canadian food system only has one more hurdle before it becomes approved.

The act recently moved through the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. It now is back at the Canadian House of Commons for a third reading.

The Safe Food for Canadians Act will provide harsher penalties for those that “put the health and safety of Canadians at risk,” implement consistent inspection protocols for all food types, increasing traceability and enhanced import and export control, according to a statement from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Under the proposed legislation, the fine for those convicted of breaking food safety laws (e.g., tampering and deceptive practices) could face up to $5 million in fines – a jump from the current maximum fine of $250,000.

To accomplish this, the act consolidates several regulatory agencies and food safety statues.

The proposed overhaul comes after a 2008 study and report of a listeriosis outbreak in Canadian deli meats that recommended the Canadian government, “modernize and simplify federal legislation and regulations that significantly affect food safety.”

“Consolidating authorities into one Act will make inspection and enforcement powers consistent across all food commodities, enabling inspectors to be more efficient, and allowing the CFIA to focus on higher risk areas,” Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said in a statement. “As a result, Canadian consumers will enjoy a safer food supply.”

For previous posts on this story from Neogen blog, click here.

Comments are closed.