Economic Action Plan 2014 proposes to provide $153.6 million over the next five years to enhance the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s food safety programs that target high-risk foods. Funding will support the hiring of over 200 new inspectors and other staff, the development of programs to minimize food safety risks and an enhanced capacity to prevent unsafe food imports from entering Canada, offering better protection for consumers.
According to our Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, more than 200 inspectors will be hired as a result of this extra funding.
The budget also speaks to modernization of the food safety system, and proposes to provide $30.7 million over five years to establish a national Food Safety Information Network. The goal of the Network is to link federal and provincial food safety authorities and private food testing laboratories to allow food safety data to be compiled, analyzed and shared in real time. Ideally, this will result in more rapid detection of, and response to, food safety hazards.
I’m sure you will all join me in applauding the government for keeping food safety a top priority. Bravo!