In light of the widespread dissemination of tainted beef by XL Foods, one has to ask the role changes made by the Harper regime in Canada's food inspection process played.
According to a Globe report,
The list of stores and products affected by the recall is now so long that consumers are advised to inquire at the point of purchase whether the beef they’re buying came from XL Foods.
Exactly how could this have happened? Despite the fact that it was September 4th when E.coli was first detected in the plant, it wasn't until three weeks later that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency acted.
The answer seems to lie in cost-cutting changes implemented by our government 'protectors' in Ottawa which naively (or is it ideologically?) place a great deal of faith in the industry's capacity to self-regulate.
As noted in the preamble on the CFIA website,
The CFIA and industry both have roles to play in achieving safe, wholesome products for consumers. The CFIA conducts inspections, tests products and verifies that industry is complying with the regulations that the CFIA enforces. Industry plays an important role in keeping Canada's food safe by identifying and managing food safety risks and by complying with all of Canada's food safety regulations.
A far more detailed breakdown of the responsibilities of industry can be found on the site, but amongst the most noteworthy is the following:
It is in the food industry's best interest to comply with regulations. In fact, industry works to:
Identify potential sources of food contamination
Update production practices to eliminate risk
Comply with the inspection and testing protocols
Pull unsafe products from the marketplace
Clearly, this did not happen with XL Foods, whose list of recalls now numbers over 33 pages, recalls that were not initiated until CFIA suspended its licence three weeks after the discovery of E.coli.
But don't expect the Harper cabal to admit their complicity anytime soon. When questioned in the House of Commons by both Thomas Mulcair and Bob Rae, misdirection was the order of the day. I won't bother reproducing the lies here, but please do check them out on the Macleans website.
All of the political jockeying amply demonstrates one thing: our representatives are very adept at protecting themselves; it is unfortunate that they are unwilling to do the same for us.