Thursday, July 5, 2012

CFIA lags - again

The United States Department of Agriculture is adopting a new multi-testing system for meat that will make it much more difficult to sneak illegal residues into the country.

But the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is, once again, lagging behind.

When I asked if the CFIA is aware of the U.S. change and whether it's doing anything similar, I got a nifty dissembling spin-doctored response.

Yes, the CFIA said, it's aware of the U.S. move.

Yes, it said, it tests meat, poultry and eggs for more than 300 chemicals.

And yes, it is using a multi-residue test. 

However, that multi-residue test is limited to about 30 antibiotics. That's nowhere close to what the U.S. is now doing.

The single-sample testing the U.S. is implementing is for antibiotics, metals and growth promotants. 

In the past, meat could sneak by if the sample was tested for one chemical or for one type of residue, such as antimicrobials. Not now.

When it comes to food safety and integrity, the CFIA just says Canada has the highest standards in the world, and one of the best inspection systems in the world. It's just hot air, folks.