Canada injects US$128m into food inspection agency to strengthen food safety system

CANADA – The Government of Canada has announced that it is investing CAD 162.6 million ($128 million) in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to strengthen its food safety system.

According to a statement from the government, the investment will take place over the next five years, in addition to CAD 40 million ($31.5 million) per year of ongoing funding.

With the investment, the Canadian government aims to strengthen the safety of its food supply, protect the health of plants and animals, as well as provide ongoing support to businesses in their export and import activities to overcome pandemic interruptions and global trade volatility.

Canada also looks to ensure it has one of the most modern and effective food safety and plant and animal protection systems, in order to enhance its reputation as a trusted trading partner.

“Our government is investing in the CFIA so that Canada continues to have the best food safety system in the world, with the best science to protect our natural resources and tools that help businesses keep up with the pace of trade,” Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, said.

The new funding will support the CFIA in four key areas: export certification to support market access, domestic oversight and surveillance, oversight of imports and digitisation.

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CFIA intends use the funds to strengthen its ability to deliver timely inspection and certification of agriculture and agri-food exports, facilitating access to international markets for Canadian businesses.

The investment will also allow the CFIA to develop up-to-date and multi-jurisdiction response plans for the most significant and likely scenarios for plant pests and animal diseases.

To meet the growing demand from importers seeking to sell products on the Canadian market, the CFIA will use the funding to conduct more inspections of imported shipments.

It will also help the agency analyse sampling and compliance data to improve inspections, policies and regulations.

In addition, the CFIA says it will expand its digital services to allow more Canadian food exporters and importers to benefit from efficient and automated tools for risk management and inspection, as well as invest in cutting edge, high-speed laboratory equipment.

The new funding is coming at a time when the CFIA is intensifying its market surveillance in an effort to ensure all food sold in Canada is safe for human consumption.

The agency recently recalled a number of products including; Harvest brand Polish Sausages, Merrylady brand Blue Non-Dairy Whip Topping, and certain Clover Leaf brand sardines.

In a statement to members of the public, CFIA said that the recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the location where they were purchased.

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