Tag Archives: food safety

Local BC Food Products Take a Hit

I’m sitting here stunned upon reading in this week’s WestEnder that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has targeted a local micro-retailer and seized $20,000 worth of goods because the food doesn’t meet their French labeling standards. A few weeks back Home Grow-In was targeted by the agency whose two inspectors spent 6 hours combing through the store’s inventory.

There is so much wrong with this picture (additional coverage), I’m not sure where to begin:

  1. Let me get this straight. Is it now retailers’ responsibility to be up-to-date on all CFIA labeling criteria when selecting from thousands of products they might carry in their stores? Funny, I thought it was the CFIA’s job to ensure producers met food safety labeling criteria.
  2. Officially, the focus of the investigation isn’t the store, it’s the producers. Hmmm, that’s odd. Then why did the inspectors not stop by the producer’s facilities instead of nailing one of many small, local retailers and seizing goods the retailer already paid for but now cannot sell?
  3. Wow, way to slam small business and cut if off at the knees. A loss like that can kill a business where cash flow is critical. Not only does the business suffer, so do the employees and their families when they can’t get paid. Great ripple effect if you want more people and businesses in financial dire straits.
  4. Oh, and the producers of the pulled products?  Many are registered with the CFIA and believed their labels met all requirements — they also haven’t been contacted by the CFIA since the raid to let them know otherwise.
  5. Funnily enough, imported goods on shelves all over the city which are also not bilingually labeled are not generating investigations of such fervor.
  6. Then there’s the selective enforcement. What about the chain grocery stores down the street where the exact same non-bilingually labeled products are also sold? Why have they not been investigated?

Want to take some tangible action? Put your money where your mouth is and support local micro food producers and the retailers who provide a critical link in helping ensure quality local products are readily available to consumers.

As for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, they are here for our protection, and we need and want them to do a good job. It’s just a good idea to ensure they are playing by rules that are as fair for the little guy as they are for the big guys.

Do You Know What’s in Your Food?

There are a lot of reasons I like shopping local. I have been a passionate supporter of small business for as long as I’ve been in business (via my “real job“), I like to be part of making my local community economically viable, I like knowing that buying local has a positive effect on things global like carbon emissions, and I like to know what’s in my food.

Yeah, about that last one…

Remember all that scare about BPA, the nasty substance found in plastic bottles? There was quite the outcry and public awareness campaign with the result that Jill and Joe Average now know to choose plastic products that don’t contain the stuff. But did you know it also shows up in your food?

Yup, you read that right. Poison in our canned soup. Known to be toxin in small doses.

Sigh. I sure wish we didn’t have to goad and coerce industry into making their products safe for human consumption. I wish that were a given.

You can learn more about BPA in foods and how to make choices that allow you to live without it at Care 2 Make a Difference.

On the plus side, once we’re educated, consumers have the control here. How you can help:

  1. Don’t buy food you know contains BPA — companies don’t make stuff people won’t buy;  and
  2. Tell us about it — that’s what Local Delicious is here for.

Make sure your information is from a credible source, and not just someone trying to bad-mouth for personal reasons. Then tell your friends and let them know the source. The only way change has ever been effected is one step at a time. Be one of those steps.