Action on Weatherill Report Recommendations to Strengthen the Food Safety System: Final Report to Canadians

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As this report describes, Canadians can be assured that the Government of Canada has acted on all of the recommendations made by the Independent Investigator, as demonstration of its commitment to the safety of food as one of its highest priorities.

The commitment of $75 million announced in September 2009 demonstrated the Government's intention to move quickly on these recommendations. In Budget 2010, CFIA was allotted an additional $13 million annually for two years to fund increased inspection capacity for meat and poultry processing facilities. Budget 2011 provided $100 million over five years to invest in inspector training, tools and technology, and science capacity. The funding will allow CFIA to implement a risk-based and proactive inspection system, with enhanced science capacity to support risk-based decision making, and improved information management technology to enable modernization. These investments build on the Government's 2008 commitment to invest $489.5 million over five years in the Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan.

The Government of Canada will continue to review and adjust its food safety standards, policies and operational procedures to ensure that its oversight of food safety remains effective. In our complex and increasingly integrated global economy, with food sources and food production-and-distribution methods in a state of continual change, vigilance is required, both of regulators and of the food industry, to ensure prevention and the effective management of new and emerging risks to food safety.

Clearly, there is always more work to be done. The food safety system requires collaboration among government partners, industry and consumers. Collective effort and sustained action are necessary to be able to respond to new and emerging risks that foodborne illness can pose to Canadians. Strengthening the food safety system is a continuous process to which the Government of Canada is fundamentally committed.

"This final report is not an end. Rather, it is a cornerstone for continued investment and improvement in food safety in Canada. This report represents an opportunity to recommit to the need for constant and collective efforts by federal and provincial/territorial governments, the food industry and consumers."

Dr. Brian Evans, Chief Food Safety Officer for Canada

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