Thursday, September 16, 2010

Canadian Food Producers ‘Burdened’ by Regulations: Survey

(Montreal Gazette – Sara Schmidt, Postmedia News)

Canadian producers think governments overreact to food safety incidences and overburden them with rules to prevent the spread of diseases on their farms, a newly released government survey has found.

Producers from British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia – representing a broad range of agricultural products – also delivered a blunt message to consumers about imports during 10 focus groups commissioned by Agriculture Canada. The sessions were held earlier this year to get their views on agricultural issues, including competitiveness, sustainability and food safety.

“Generally speaking, producers felt that bio-security regulations and protocols were putting an unnecessary burden on producers, particularly smaller ones,” according to a summary of the focus groups led by Ekos Research Associates Inc. “Those who were being most affected by these measures felt that governments and retail industry giants had overreacted in the face of Mad Cow and other food safety incidences, as well as bowing to pressure from the United States and other countries.” Read more here.