Canola Council welcomes promise of new food safety bill

June 6, 2012

The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) welcomed today's introduction of the Safe Food for Canadians Act that will strengthen Canada's food safety system. Provisions contained in the Bill will allow the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to maintain global confidence in the safety of Canadian food, facilitating market access for Canadian canola in demanding export markets and continuing to provide safe food for Canadians.

"The federal government's food safety modernization initiatives complement our industry's commitment to provide safe and high quality canola oil," says CCC president Patti Miller. "Ensuring that our international customers continue to respect our food safety systems is essential for stable market access."

Today's Canadian Bill follows recent modernized food safety approaches in Australia, the European Union, and the United States. The American market is the largest destination for Canadian canola, worth over $2.8 billion in 2011. Customers are increasingly demanding modern food safety frameworks that incorporate risk-proportionate preventative control systems. The legislation tabled today is part of a broader modernization effort that includes food safety regulation and inspection.

"We look forward to continuing to work closely with the government to ensure this modernization improves the competitiveness of the canola sector and assists with market access," says Miller.

Food safety is also a key area of the Regulatory Cooperation Council, a joint Canada-US effort initiated by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barrack Obama to facilitate trade between the two countries. One of the initiatives involves working to align Canadian and American systems. Aspects of today's Bill will support this process.

"Because the US is our largest trading partner, it's vital that we work together to have our food and feed products trade easily between our two countries," says Miller.

The CCC is a full value chain organization representing the entire canola industry, including growers, seed developers, crushers and exporters. Canola is Canada's most valuable crop, generating over $15.4 billion in economic activity each year and is responsible for 228,000 jobs.

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For further comment, media may call:

Jim Everson, Vice-President of Corporate Affairs
Canola Council of Canada
613-488-9916