Government Introduces Safe Food for Canadians Act

June 18, 2021

Ottawa Journal ((June 18 – June 22, 2021)
David Tilson, MP

Canadians want to know the food they eat is safe. Food safety is a high priority for the Government of Canada and we recognize that we must always strive for improvement, to ensure our country’s food system is even safer and stronger for consumers. This is why we recently introduced the Safe Food for Canadians Act in Parliament. It’s an Act that not only modernizes and consolidates existing laws, but also makes these laws simpler, more consistent, and ensures our food is safer and we are all better protected from risks to food safety.

On June 07, 2012, our Government introduced the Safe Food for Canadians Act (S-11) in the Senate, where it also had its First Reading. There were many reasons for our Government to introduce this legislation which include: simpler and stronger laws will make our food system safer and help reduce risk to protect Canadian families; new technologies are changing how food is grown and processed and this means current laws need to be flexible to keep up with new developments in food production and processing; our population is aging and seniors are more susceptible to food-related illnesses; our lifestyle is changing and as Canadians become more informed about where food is from and what it contains, there is more demand for a stronger food system; and now that we purchase food from more countries than ever before, we want this food to meet the same high standards as food made here in Canada.

The Act will consolidate the Fish Inspection Act, the Canada Agricultural Products Act, the Meat Inspection Act, and the food provisions of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act. Furthermore, it will consolidate and modernize these laws and will make them simpler and more consistent, which means safer food and better protection for Canadian consumers.

The Act will improve overall food safety for Canadian families by:

  • protecting us from risks related to food tampering and hoaxes (with the new Act, authorities will be able to move faster and more efficiently to address potential risks to food safety);
  • prohibiting the sale of foods that have been recalled and giving the Government the power to require the food industry to have traceability systems to help quickly remove recalled products from the marketplace;
  • increasing the control of foods imported into Canada by requiring importers to be licensed and stopping potentially unsafe food from entering our country when risks are detected; and
  • making the rules for inspection and enforcement consistent across all food commodities: meat, fish, and agricultural products. Under the legislation, one standard will mean that Canadian families are protected by the same strict requirements.

In addition, the Act will further align Canada’s food safety system with our key trading partners and will, therefore, enhance international market opportunities for the Canadian food industry. A new authority in the Act would allow certification of any food commodity for export and increase global confidence in Canadian food.

The Safe Food for Canadians Act is yet another example of how our Government is taking decisive action to help protect the health and safety of Canadians from coast to coast to coast. We will continue to improve our food safety system to ensure that it continues to provide safe food for all Canadian consumers.