Saturday, July 12, 2008

SPP and mad cow disease

June 23, 2008 New mad cow case confirmed in B.C.
"The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed the 13th case of mad cow disease in Canada. The agency said the animal was detected as part of its ongoing surveillance program for mad cow disease - or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)."

July 12, 2008 Ottawa washes hands of food safety
"The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is ending funding to producers to test cattle for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow disease) as part of a surveillance program, the document indicates, a move expected to save the agency about $24-million over the next three years."

$23.3 million actually. This information has been available on the Treasury Board of Canada website since Mar 29, 2007. You can go look for yourself :

Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
"Changes in resource levels from 2007-2008 to 2008-2009: The decrease in financial resources of approximately $30.9 million is primarily related to the sunsetting of funding for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) ($23.3 million)"

because, as the same Treasury Board report later explains :
"Canada is working with the United States and Mexico on the regulatory aspects of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of North America to eliminate redundant testing and certification requirements when it is beneficial to Canada."
And why are we doing this again?
"Long-term prosperity requires increased productivity and competitiveness which means making sure Canadians can compete in a global economy by creating a stronger economic union, reducing red tape and making sure borders stay open for business."

"Making sure borders stay open for business" - the main preoccupation of the Cons and the CCCE is apparently now a guiding principle at the agency in charge of ensuring food safety.

Related post from last Wednesday : SPP - Outsourcing food safety to industry

See also POGGE, Impolitical, and Accidental Deliberations

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