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Scary too.

Blast Furnace Canada is right – The Listeriosis outbreak is getting ugly:

An infant in Manitoba has died from listeriosis. It’s too early to say whether the death is linked to the problems at Maple Leaf, but it does make you wonder how much worse it is going to get before it gets better…Almost amazingly, Harper continues to stand by his man Gerry Ritz, saying that while the remarks were “completely inappropriate” the apology was enough.17 people dying is enough? Hundreds getting sick is enough?

I agree about Gerry Ritz, but let’s remember the bigger picture here, as Steve put into focus earlier at his blog. The main focus shouldn’t be just on Minister Ritz and his insensitive attempts at jokes:

The real story here, isn’t Ritz necessarily, it’s the issue of how the Conservatives have handled food safety…When Harper takes to the mic, and defends Ritz, saying he is doing a good job on the file, and that’s all that matters, the follow up question should ask about that JOB. Why are you putting the onus on companies to self-police, when their chief concern is profit, sometimes at the expense of public safety? Why are you CUTTING inspection? Canadians need to understand that this government is putting public health at risk because of ideological considerations. The Conservative policies are the bad joke here.

By all means, let’s demand Ritz be sacked.. but if we’re going to go at this issue, let’s also bring up the more important issue, which is the apparent desire of the Conservatives to get rid of all the regulators and oversight of the food industry at the expense of public safety, because of their small government, laissez-faire ideology approach to business.

Let’s talk about this angle on the campaign trail and remind the voting public and the media we should be looking at the bigger picture beyond Ritz, and that is whether we really want a clone of the policies Mike Harris ran in Ontario that helped lead to the Walkerton outbreak. We’re already experiencing some of those policies now from the federal Conservatives with the Listeriosis outbreak. We need to ask Canadians if they really want to continue this type of “regulation” or lack thereof on the campaign trail at the same time we’re demanding Ritz be sacked


4 comments to Scary too.

  • Stephen K

    “Of course, meat inspection hasn’t changed in any substantial way since the LPC was in charge.”

    The Canadian Medical Association would disagree with you on that.

  • Moebius

    Of course, meat inspection hasn’t changed in any substantial way since the LPC was in charge.

    But let’s lead the charge to politically profit from death!

    On BSE, how many people in Canada have died from it, compared to say…cigarette smoking or car accidents? The US uses it to protect their markets from us.

  • Thanks for the link Scott. Perhaps I didn’t make it clear enough in my latest post on the issue, but I have tried to do so in the past — and that is food inspection isn’t something to be messed around with.

    We absolutely need to make sure licensed government inspectors are on duty and doing their job. If there are better ways for them to do their job that helps the bottom line , that’s fine; but this is one area where “self-regulation” cannot be allowed to occur.

  • Blackstar

    It is very scary to me. I now think of the whole feed industry and cutting inspections there if these people get the free reigns they wish for. The recent BSE crisis comes to mind and the fact that we did not get full trading priviliges restored south of the border until recently. How can they play politics with our lives, our food supply, farmer’s livlihoods? The conclusion is appalling. Someone needs to put up a diary at Daily Kos tomorrow, IMHO.

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