Monday, October 6, 2008

Good morning listeria, the earth say hello

A key regulation that could have stopped the listeriosis outbreak that has so far killed 20 in Canada and made hundreds sick was repealed by the Harper government four months before the outbreak began. This rule required meat processors to report any discovery of listeria to federal authorities immediately who would then supervise the clean-up. Inspectors within the department, speaking anonymously to the Toronto Star and CBC, said that if the rule had been in place far few people would have died if any.

Steve Harper cannot say this was a decision of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency rather his own or the Agriculture Minister. As Prime Minister, he signs off on regulations (which have the same legal effect as executive orders or statutes) so he has final say; and it goes back to the principle that "the buck stops here." Just saying "I sign dozens of these instruments everyday, and I can't be expected to read all of them" isn't acceptable, period.

Although Maple Leaf has taken responsibility for its actions as well as it should have, and put in processes to prevent a recurrence, that does not excuse the Conservative government's role in this.

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1 comment:

penlan said...

I just posted on the same thing - right before you Robert. lol...we're in sync. ;)