MP questions food safety following cuts
A P.E.I. member of Parliment says cuts to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in Newfoundland and Labrador could have a big impact on his province.
Wayne Easter is demanding answers from Ottawa about how it plans to maintain food safety standards after cutting the budget.
The union representing federal food inspectors says up to 100 jobs may be lost.
Most concerning, Easter said, was six positions at the ferry terminals in Newfoundland.
The inspectors spray down soil-contaminated vehicles to prevent the spread of nematodes.
Nematodes, or roundworms, can infest potato plants.
"If we were to get nematodes in our soil in Prince Edward Island, it would virtually destroy our potato industry, so it’s extremely important," he said.
Easter said he’s not satisfied with the way the cuts are being handled.
"Talking to the minister’s office today, I could not get answers in terms of how they’re going to effectively assure that soil contamination does not come over into ours," Easter said.
"The government should be able to tell us right now how they’re going to prevent contamination and they can’t. So we need some answers."
Cuts will also impact staff on P.E.I.
Easter said six positions will be eliminated.
He said in the future, farmers will expected to handle more of the paperwork.
Easter hopes people will put pressure on the federal government to reconsider these changes.
"Cutting people in our food inspection system, in a system that protects us all in terms of food safety, contaminated products, etc., cutting those to build more jails, blow money on planes, is not the right priorities."