Atamanenko Concerned About Proposed Changes to Meat Inspection Regulations

Alex Atamanenko MP
By Alex Atamanenko MP
May 16th, 2012

New Democrat MP, Alex Atamanenko (BC southern Interior) is appalled by the reckless changes to Meat Inspection Regulations (MIR) being proposed by the Conservative government that will leave Canadians wondering if the meat they buy is actually safe. Private inspectors, who may not be qualified, would now be able to inspect meat.  Worse, these changes to meat inspection rules also change what meat is acceptable – meaning already-dead meat and crippled animals’ meat will be okay for processing for Canadians’ tables.

According to Atamanenko, these changes have been tried before, and with disastrous results. “The 1970’s “rotten meat” scandal caused the meat industry to collapse which is what led to the creation of federal regulations in the first place.” said the BC MP.  “This happened because of a lack of meat processing regulations and already-dead and crippled animal meat was entering the food supply. It’s staggering that the government would ever considering going down this road”

Atamanenko suspects that these changes are arising out of meetings between the US Department of Agriculture, industry reps and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) officials, to further the aims of the Regulatory Cooperation Council to harmonize regulations between the US and Canada.  The government claims they are just looking for ways to cut red tape and provide greater flexibility to slaughterhouse operators. 

“I’m certain that most Canadians would agree that cutting red tape and flexible regulations should not be the principles guiding our food safety system” stated NDP Agriculture Critic, Malcolm Allen. “To top everything off, hundreds of CFIA employees, including front line inspectors and veterinarians are on the chopping block.

Atamanenko believes the strength of our federal meat inspection rules for major meat packers must not be weakened.  “I join with my NDP colleagues in echoing the calls of industry workers to keep our meat inspection system regulated, and safe for Canadians,” concluded Atamanenko.  “The Conservative government has no business gambling with Canadians’ health and safety.”

This article is a press release from Mr. Atamanenko’s office.

Categories: GeneralOp/Ed

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