Canadian government wants feedback on food safety

On December 17, 2007, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the government will be implementing a new "Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan".

Apparently, the federal health and agriculture departments want feedback from Canadians on how the government should carry out its proposed food and consumer safety action plan. They have set up a website with tons of information, they've published a booklet, and generally have created what many would consider information overload, which may discourage many people from participating in a process that will ultimately decide what happens to a lot of the food that they will be eating.

The discussion period ends on February 14th. I am almost certain of this, but not 100%. It took me a pretty long time to find that tidbit of information. It did not appear in the booklet, nor was it listed in many of the governments webpages concerning the new plan.

I could not find an actual end-date, but the official press release from January 14th states that the consultation period begins immediately and lasts for 30 days.

Even though I am not quite ready to make my own personal suggestions, I tried to find the page where I could submit my comments and had no luck. The press release directed me to visit the "Healthy Canadians" website. A quick glance at that site and then a more thorough reading of their homepage did not enlighten me as to how I could participate in this participatory process.

I clicked on the first item on the homepage, which was the press release. Been there. The second item was called Canada's Proposed Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan and seemed like it would be promising, but even though the subtitle was "...a need for action", the page had no indication of where I could submit my comments. After showing me links (twice) that would direct me back to the Healthy Canadians website, there was a link for the discussion paper.

 

Halfway down the discussion paper, I finally hit pay dirt. It was stated that I could submit my comments directly through their website or you can E-mail, mail or fax them in. Since I could not find the direct link on the site, here is thr contact info:

Corporate Consulation Secretariat

PL 1904D
Room 496D, Jeanne Mance Building
200 Eglantine Driveway,
Ottawa ON K1A 0K9

E-mail: info@hc-sc.gc.ca
Fax: 613-948-8092

That was a lot of work just to figure out how to submit my comments. If any proud Canadians (or our neighbours to the south) have any stamina left, they can try to figure out exactly what they want to say.

I will spend the next couple of weeks trying to simplify the whole ordeal and then make some recommendations that you can cut and paste into your emails. I am sure (and hopeful) that some other bloggers and NGOs will do the same, and I will try to connect with some of them. Comments and or any help in this endevour are welcome, and much easier to submit that those intended for the Canadian government.

 

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