Canada Has Bird Flu Virus, 7 Countries Ban Poultry From B.C. Publish Date: 08-DEC-2014 08:16 AM A highly contagious H5N2 strain of the avian bird flu virus has infected at least 140,000 poultry in Canada. Seven countries have now placed restrictions against importing poultry or poultry products from B.C. or Canada. These include the United States, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, South Africa and Mexico.
PS jobs disappearing faster than expected, report says Publish Date: 11-NOV-2014 09:56 AM Canada’s Conservative government has wiped nearly 37,000 people off the federal payroll and reduced key services for Canada’s veterans and the unemployed and budgets for food safety in the “rush” to pay for its promised tax cuts, according to a new report.
The report, by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, concludes that the Conservatives are able to realize their promised surplus and tax breaks at the expense of front-line services, corroded by steady spending cuts that will continue for another two years — even after the books have been balanced.
Bottle vs. Tap : 7 things to know about drinking water Publish Date: 26-SEP-2014 08:36 AM Recent reports of drugs in our drinking water might have some people heading for the bottled water aisle of their nearest grocery store, but in most parts of Canada, choosing bottled water over tap is a matter of taste or convenience, not health.
Arctic oil spills likely to spread across borders: study Publish Date: 28-JUL-2014 08:30 AM World Wildlife Fund study used computer models to predict how oil spills would behave in Beaufort Sea. New research suggests a major oil spill in Canada's western Arctic would likely spread quickly and foul oceans around Alaska and possibly as far west as Russia. The research, funded by the World Wildlife Fund, comes as the National Energy Board prepares to consider blowout prevention plans in two separate proposals for offshore energy drilling.
Chicken farmers get fed funding for disease control research Publish Date: 24-JUL-2014 08:10 AM A new research project aims to reduce the need for antibiotics in broiler chickens.
The project, run by the Chicken Farmers of Saskatchewan and co-financed with $275,000 in federal funding, will focus on disease control in the Saskatchewan broiler chicken industry. Its aim is to identify and characterize new variants of the avian reovirus and determine how they are transmitted. It also aims to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of vaccines for inclusion body hepatitis (IBH) in field trials.
Tenderized beef will soon need labels Publish Date: 20-JUL-2014 01:25 PM Canadian shoppers will be able to see next month if the beef they’re buying has been mechanically tenderized. Labelling regulations to take effect Aug. 21 are designed to protect consumers after the largest meat recall in the country’s history two years ago. Health Canada says beef that has been mechanically tenderized must have a sticker saying that. Packaged steaks must also have cooking instructions.
CFIA shuts down first new P.E.I. lobster processor in a decade Publish Date: 18-MAY-2014 03:08 PM HOWARDS COVE - A Howards Cove seafood processing plant has not had its registration renewed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). A CIFA spokesperson said Red Cove seafood processing was allowed to resume operations following an earlier suspension on April 14 under ongoing inspection by CFIA. On May 8, CFIA decided not to renew Red Cove’s registration. Red Cove Seafood Products Inc. in Howard’s Cove was given the first new lobster processing licence in more than a decade on April 30 this year.
Ottawa rejects union's claim that food is unsafe Publish Date: 30-APR-2014 10:56 AM Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose accused Canada's largest public-sector union Tuesday of irresponsibly undermining Canadians' confidence in the safety of their food. The union alleged last week that federal job cuts have left consumers vulnerable to ripoffs and tainted food. "The union's portrayal is not accurate and irresponsibly undermines public confidence in the knowledge that the food on their dinner table is safe," she told Postmedia News in a statement.
Union warns of reduced meat inspections, more food fraud in Vancouver Publish Date: 22-APR-2014 08:39 AM VANCOUVER – Canada’s food safety system is being pushed beyond its limits, warns the union representing federal food inspectors, which singles out Vancouver area-consumers as potentially the most at risk. Some $35 million and 192 inspectors are on the food safety program’s chopping block over the next two years, according to online documents posted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
The agency has also disbanded a team of inspectors dedicated to protecting consumers from food fraud throughout Metro Vancouver. The Consumer Protection Unit once boasted 11 inspectors, but that number dwindled to four due to attrition.
Canada’s chicken farmers ban injections that trigger superbugs Publish Date: 17-APR-2014 03:01 PM Canadian chicken farmers are putting an end to controversial egg injections, which provided the world with a “textbook” example of the perils of mass medication. By injecting eggs at hatcheries with ceftiofur, a medically important antibiotic, the farmers triggered the rise of resistant microbes that showed up in both chickens and in Canadians creating a “major” public health concern. The case – documented by federal and provincial sleuths who track microbes at farms, slaughterhouses and retail meat counters – is held up as powerful evidence of resistant superbugs moving from farm to fork. “It is going to be in medical textbooks for as long as there are textbooks around,” says John Prescott, a professor with the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph.
Fewer science officers on public lands Publish Date: 24-MAR-2014 10:51 AM The Professional Employees Association, which represents 2,500 people who work for the provincial government, has released a report showing its membership declined 19 per cent in the past five years.
Government suggests no need to test for radiation Publish Date: 05-MAR-2014 08:49 AM Health Canada is citing two separate series of radiation tests on BC fish, along with ongoing ocean monitoring, as reasons why regular domestic seafood testing is not warranted in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident. “What we’ve seen so far presents no health risk,” said Sean Upton, Health Canada senior media relations officer. “If increased radiation is found in the waters in 2014 or 2015 then more testing would be done, as needed. We know there’s going to be radiation from Fukushima for years to come. The testing will never stop.”
Feds need to do more to fight climate change, finds deputy ministers’ report Publish Date: 21-FEB-2014 08:17 AM A secret report from a committee of federal deputy ministers stresses the need for the federal government to further combat climate change and manage the risks that threaten Canadian communities, government infrastructure, food security and human health. The report from the Deputy Ministers’ Committee on Climate Change, Energy and the Environment to the Clerk of the Privy Council Wayne Wouters also identifies priority areas for potential “government intervention” on energy and environmental innovation, including taking action on unconventional oil and gas, water and next-generation transportation.
When Will Harper’s People Stop Denying Climate Change Publish Date: 18-FEB-2014 08:44 AM One of most unpredictable and dangerous impacts of climate change is the threat it poses to our ability to grow and harvest food across Canada and around the globe.On a global scale, food security in the age of climate change is a serious concern with reports warning that climate change could drive up food prices and lead to millions of people living in a state of food insecurity. In the context of this agricultural insecurity, Gerry Ritz, Canada's Minister for Agriculture, told the House of Commons last week that "this cold weather can't last forever. This global warming has to stop some time".
Boîtes à surprises (French only) Publish Date: 17-FEB-2014 08:26 AM Ottawa a promis en 2004 de bannir les produits de santé naturels risqués ou inefficaces. Dix ans - et des dizaines de ratés - plus tard, c'est apparemment un échec. Une nouvelle étude démontre que des dizaines de produits approuvés contiennent encore des ingrédients cachés ou nocifs. Et de plus en plus de voix accusent le ministère de la Santé d'approuver presque n'importe quoi.
Food insecurity in Canada growing worse Publish Date: 06-FEB-2014 09:01 AM Food insecurity — lack of access to sufficient, healthy food — is either not getting any better or is getting worse in all parts of Canada, according to a new report. Valerie Tarasuk of the University of Toronto was the lead researcher for the Household Food Insecurity in Canada report, which was produced with support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and released Thursday morning.
Federal attack on science reveals totalitarian streak Publish Date: 16-JAN-2014 10:13 AM Last week, CBC’s Fifth Estate presented an excellent summary of the Harper government’s approach toward basic research in Canada. “Silence of the Labs” (viewable at cbc.ca) enumerates the many ways Ottawa is conducting a war of attrition on science.
Mulcair veut réformer le régime d’inspection ferroviaire (French only) Publish Date: 09-JAN-2014 09:37 AM Le gouvernement Harper doit revoir de fond en comble le régime d'inspection des chemins de fer, dit le chef de l'opposition, Thomas Mulcair. Selon lui, on ne peut confier cette tâche aux entreprises privées, car elles « vont toujours couper les coins ronds ».
U.S. food-safety audit gives Canada low grade, calls for better meat oversight Publish Date: 07-JAN-2014 03:23 PM A U.S. audit of Canada’s food-safety system calls on the federal regulator to strengthen oversight of sanitation and the humane handling of animals at meat-slaughtering plants. The findings from the tour of seven food-processing facilities, two laboratories and five Canadian Food Inspection Agency offices in the fall of 2012 were kept confidential until recently.
CFIA Consultations and Canadian Food Safety (PDF)
Publish Date: 19-DEC-2014 02:44 AM
As part of the 2014 CFIA Consultations, the Professional Institute of The Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) has submitted a detailed analysis of each of the following proposals:
Scientists Rally in Support of Federal Research
Publish Date: 27-NOV-2014 11:16 AM
On the morning of October 22, researchers and science staff from Natural Resources Canada, Agriculture & Agri-food Canada and the Department of National Defence demonstrated in Québec city at the entrance of Université Laval in support of research in the federal government.
The Canada First Research Excellence Fund seems to be the Harper government’s response to fierce criticism about its science policies. It was announced with much fanfare last week (although it had appeared in the spring budget) by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as an unprecedented investment to strengthen Canada’s position in the world of science. But it came on the heels of an uproar in the scientific community over the imminent shuttering of a world-class science facility at the University of Ottawa, highlighting precisely what many critics believe is wrong with the Conservatives’ approach to science.
Irrités par les interventions du gouvernement Harper, les scientifiques fédéraux ont concocté un répulsif inusité: des clauses à insérer dans leur convention collective. Reste à voir si le remède sera homologué.