CFIA Confirmation Letter for the Saint-Pierre and Miquelon Biotoxin Monitoring Program

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May 11, 2012
Patrice Latron
Prefect, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon
Place du Lieutenant-Colonel Pigeaud
P.O. Box 4200
97500 Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

Dear Mr. Latron:

Re: Protocol for the Export of Live Whelks from Saint-Pierre and Miquelon to Canada

Thank you for your recent letter concerning the Protocol for the Export of Live Whelks from Saint-Pierre and Miquelon to Canada, prepared by the Direction des territoires de l'alimentation et de la mer (DTAM).

I am writing to inform you that we consider the approach set out in the final protocol (see attached) to control the risk of biotoxins in live whelks (Buccinum undatum) and the chemical methods that will be used to be acceptable. Furthermore, the most recent information provided regarding your analytical methods confirms that these methods are equivalent and, despite a few differences with respect to PTX analogs, there should be no significant increase in risk.

We can therefore state that the export of live whelks from Saint-Pierre and Miquelon to Canada can begin as soon as the preliminary steps set out in the protocol have been completed.

Please note that the whelk samples will be collected as part of our regular import inspection program. If any PTXs (entire group) are detected, we will apply the relevant Canadian standards. If any whelks exceed the standard, the entire lot will be rejected, and Saint-Pierre and Miquelon whelks will be added to the Mandatory Inspection List. Furthermore, if the CFIA observes an increase in PTX-3, -4, -6 or -11 levels in the samples collected during regular marine biotoxin monitoring, we may increase monitoring of imported whelks and, depending on the circumstances, we may also ask Saint-Pierre and Miquelon to review its protocol.

Lastly, note that Canadian authorities reserve the right to audit the implementation of the control measures described in the protocol developed by Saint-Pierre and Miquelon.

In closing, I would like to say that I have enjoyed being able to work closely with you and the members of the DTAM and to bring this project, which is of great importance to both your fishers and the Canadian seafood processing industry, to a successful conclusion through our joint efforts.

I look forward to working with you again on other regional projects.

Yours sincerely,

[original signed by]
Terence McRae
Director
Fish, Seafood and Production Division
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Att.: Final protocol, version of February 29, 2012

c.c.
Karen McIntyre, Executive Director, Agrifood, Meat and Seafood Safety Directorate, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Dr. Catherine Rogy, AV, Deputy Counsellor for Agriculture, Regional Department of Economic Affairs, Treasury Directorate General, Embassy of France in the United States
Michel Têtu, Director General, International Business Development, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

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