Conservatives’ Cuts To Meat Slaughterhouses Inspection Puts Canadians At Risk, Says NDP

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WELLAND – NDP Agriculture and Food Safety critic Malcolm Allen (Welland) is demanding the Conservatives to reconsider their decision to end provincial meat inspection programs, affecting meat plants in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

“What the Conservatives are doing is creating a two-tier food safety system in this country,” said Allen. “Consumers in some parts of the country will ultimately be at greater risk of becoming sick from contaminated meat than those in other parts of the country – and all because Minister Ritz wants to save a few dollars.”

Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz is expected to pull an estimated 65 Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspectors out of dozens of western provincial facilities by January 2014, despite the fact that the CFIA has been contracted to oversee provincially-registered meat production establishments for decades, and fill a large gap in Federal-Provincial standards. Currently, British Columbia has zero meat inspectors in place.

“By walking away from this responsibility without providing any solutions, once again shows the Conservative’s lack of leadership when it comes to food safety in Canada.”