Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dead People Do Not Ride Off Into The Sunset.


We talked the actions of the Stephen Harper's government that will almost certainly result in future listeriosis outbreaks in Canada yesterday.....

Here is more from Johanna Smith's recent piece in The TStar:

...The latest spending plan from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency proposes heavy spending cuts next year, including getting rid of some of the extra resources the Conservative government threw into food safety following the deadly nationwide outbreak of listeriosis in 2008.

The illness linked to tainted deli meats from a Maple Leaf Foods plant in Toronto killed 23 Canadians and sickened hundreds more that summer.

“Resources will sunset for listeriosis, and for increased frequency of food inspection in meat processing establishments,” says a line in the latest report on planning and priorities from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency....

In my opinion, and the opinion of at least one of the relatives of the dead, it is antithetical to the peace, order and good government, not to mention fairness for all, that we expect in Canada:

...Karen Clark, whose 89-year-old mother Frances Clark died after eating cold cuts contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes at her Belleville-area nursing home in 2008 (said that)....

“It seems as if they think Canadians have forgotten about the listeriosis outbreak and all the people it affected, that they can reduce these programs and inspectors and no one will notice or care,” Clark said Monday. “Something terrible happened to my family. We’re not special. In other words, it can happen to anyone if the federal government does not maintain safety oversight and inspection. It could be anyone’s family. It’s that simple.”...

Now, that about says it all.


Here is something I did not know that makes it worse.

Which is that the original decision to hire the additional 'temporary' inspectors may have been made to keep the American market open:

...The federal food safety watchdog increased the frequency of inspections in domestic ready-to-eat meat plants to match the higher number of checks the United States demanded for plants producing meat destined for its market and hired 170 inspectors to handle the extra burden.

The report notes they were “short-term initiatives” and they are being phased out alongside overall cuts associated with the governmentwide spending review...

Truth be told, that flummoxed me because it suggests that stopping a dip in cold cut sales may have been more important than saving lives.

If true, is it even possible to come up with a work that would accurately describe such a deplorable act of political expediency?



Bill said...

Another bang on the money post Ross.

The mind boggles. How can so much common sense on so many issues be blatantly ignored by our elected representatives? The answer is they do not care about common sense or the simple needs of the taxpayer. Their objective is not really to serve the people.

In the name of cost cutting "efficiencies", right wing waco conservative policies, and "balancing budgets" we have the promotion of business interests of "friends" of the ruling party. This is just one more outrageous example of how badly we are represented - really misrepresented.

There can not be anything worse than a democracy with a majority that runs like a dictatorship. Sadly too many people are still not paying attention. What a downer. Hopefully that is changing - at least out here on the west coast.

RossK said...

Thanks Bill--

I agree, although I would go one step further and suggest that this kind of stuff is being done not in the 'name' but rather under the 'guise' of efficiencies, etc.

Because I am of the the opinion that this is really about the hidden Straussian mantra of the de-regulation of everyting that is designed to really get the race to the bottom off and running.