Summer heat brings food safety to mind

Nanaimo-Cowichan MP Jean Crowder urges the federal government to investigate and address causes as antibiotic resistance grows.

Jean Crowder

Jean Crowder

As summer approaches, backyard cooks are bringing out the barbecues and getting them ready.

There is no better time to think about food safety, and New Democrats want to make sure the food you buy is safe to eat.

For decades, Canadians have depended on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to certify that food is fit for human consumption.

For example, they recently found phenylbutazone, normally used to treat horses, in some beef approved for sale in Quebec.

Phenylbutazone, or bute, is not approved for use in beef cattle because even residual amounts can be toxic to humans.

However, the CFIA only conducts random tests for drug residues, testing approximately 160,000 samples from domestic and imported beef, pork, dairy, eggs, honey, fruit and vegetables each year.

Since the number of cattle slaughtered last year in Canada was 2,889,627, that is a relatively small sampling size.

So it is hard for us to know just how often drug residues are present in our food.

This issue is top of mind for me after reading a recent report from the Ontario Medical Association that found that antibiotic-resistant infections are becoming more frequent and difficult to treat.

In intensive operations, antibiotics may be used for the regular use of treating illness and disease but also to prevent illness in otherwise healthy animals and to promote growth. This may lead to resistance in both animal and human populations and increased health care costs for all Canadians — estimated at $200 million annually.

Presently, the growing problem of antibiotic resistance caused by the misuse and misapplication of antibiotics has led organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) to express deep concerns about the future of effective antibiotic treatments without government action.

To address these concerns, New Democrats believe an expert national commission should immediately be struck to evaluate the main causes of antibiotic resistance, including prescribing practices, and develop recommendations to address this emerging threat to public health.

The commission, bridging a dual mandate of medical and agricultural fields of expertise, would address scientific evidence that addresses the link between the use of antibiotics in the food supply to increased incidences of antibiotic resistance.

I hope you agree this is a concern for all Canadians and write to the Minister of Health, Leona Aglukkaq, to urge her to take action. Her e-mail  is leona.aglukkaq@parl.gc.ca.

You can also contact her by regular mail at House of Commons, Ottawa, K1A 0A6.

 

Just Posted

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

CVRD to increase enforcement after audits reveal that curb-side recycling contamination in the district is well above acceptable limits. (File photo)
CVRD reports contamination in recyclables well above acceptable levels

Increased enforcement planned starting this summer

A conceptual rendering of the commercial plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road. (Town of Ladysmith/June 15 Council Agenda)
Rocky Creek commercial plaza passes public hearing

The proposed plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road would bring commercial activity to Ladysmith’s north end

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Bernadette Jordan addresses the media following a swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on January 14, 2019. Jordan says the government will provide $2 million to allow First Nations to continue to strengthen the marine safety system across Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
First Nations receive federal funds to purchase marine rescue boats

Quatsino, Heiltsuk, and Kitasoo First Nation’s among eight across Canada to receive funding

Most Read