“GERRY’S GOTTA GO!
Haven’t we had about enough of the shenanigans of the Harper government and its TAINTED MEAT CRISIS by its back-pedaling and boondoggling …
FACT- the FDA (US inspection) notified the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) on or about 4th September, 2012 that there was problem with
imported beef product landed in US from Canada- (E coli).
FACT-Alberta govt. confirmed four cases of E. coli from meat that originated from the same processing plant yet it was a full 12 days after Minister’s agency was notified by USDA before a recall notice was issued by the Canadian government (last count there were over 20 cases reported, many requiring hospitalization).
FACT- CFIA continued to let the processor ship after the outbreak was brought to its attention and when new shipments and products were being identified while Minister continued to defend the agency’s inspection and oversight standards in Parliament.
FACT- Production continued for a full 2 weeks after notification by USDA without any serious steps being taken by the Minister to withdraw the processor’s CFIA certificate to produce/ship product, detected.
FACT- The Minister dropped the ball by failing to have his agency provide adequate or any details on the particular recall(s) being ordered with consequential loss of confidence in the quality of government’s regulatory oversight but also alarming Canadians and foreign importers of the products, all due to the intransigence and indifference of this Minister.
FACT- The Minister denies that any serious action was taken in a timely fashion. His justification for any ‘time lag’ in dealing with problems at the processing plant (i.e. shutting it down) is rationalized by his assertion that it would have been premature to act ‘on speculation’(his words) instead of ‘following the science’ (whatever that is supposed to mean).
FACT- Whether Minister acted on the advice of his CFIA regulators that was based on science, or on speculation, fact remains that infected product still remained on store shelves, CFIA failed to get proper handle on nature or extent of contamination of tainted product being processed and distributed both before and after consumers became ill from ingesting the tainted beef product.
FACT-This minister has clearly demonstrated his ineptness and indifference in developing a food policy that affords Canadians reasonable assurance that there is adequate and proper oversight and monitoring for the safety and quality of what Canadians are eating!
I think we know the answer to our final question to the Minister. Is it unreasonable to expect of parties who are charged with this federal responsibility, to exercise due diligence and to act in a timely fashion in such instances (even if erring on speculation or God forbid, out of an abundance of caution)?