Ottawa – Conservative senators have amended a bill on food safety to include a mandatory review every five years of the resources and inspectors available to enforce the system, reports GlobalTVEdmonton.com.
The Conservative majority in the Senate agricultural committee voted on Oct. 4, says the GlobeandMail.com.
The committee also voted down an amendment from the Liberal party that would have had the review conducted by the auditor general instead of the federal agriculture minister.
The bill, the Safe Food for Canadians Act, was introduced in the Senate just before Parliament’s summer recess and, says GlobalTVEdmonton.com, will overhaul the legal infrastructure of food safety. The bill generally has the support of all parties, industry and unions.
As it stands, the bill will repeal the Fish Inspection Act, the Meat Inspection Act and the Canada Agricultural Products Act, merging those duties into a single law covering food, says the GlobeandMail.com. It also increases the maximum fine for offences from $250,000 to $5 million.
The bill will likely be sent to the House of Commons for a review later this month.