OTTAWA – New Democrats are concerned about results of a survey indicating that over half of Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) staff believe the Agency’s new approach increases the likelihood of serious food contamination. Worse still, seven out of ten inspectors worry Canada is likely to face a major food-borne illness in the near future.


“The NDP called repeatedly for an investigation to assess the impacts of the Conservative reform on our food safety. Unfortunately, the Conservative government preferred to ignore the problem. If the Liberals don’t want to have a food safety record as catastrophic as the Conservatives’, it’s time to reinvest,” said NDP Agriculture and Agri-Food critic, Ruth Ellen Brosseau (Berthier—Maskinongé).


During the election campaign, the Liberals promised to increase spending on food safety inspections by $80 million over four years. This amount is clearly insufficient to make up for the $56 million per year slashed by the Conservatives.


More than half of those surveyed believe the current staff shortage is affecting compliance with food safety requirements.


“Canadians must be able to have confidence in the food they purchase for their families,” said Brosseau. “The NDP takes food safety issues very seriously and we share the concerns of front line inspectors. It’s time for the government to do the same.”