Safe Food for Canadians Act: What it means for Canadian industry
The Government of Canada adopted the Safe Food for Canadians Act to make our food safety system stronger as well as reducing overlap for Canadian food producers. The Act provides industry clear, consistent and straight forward inspection and enforcement rules so they can best meet their responsibility to put safe food on shelves for consumers.
The Government of Canada is committed to making food as safe as possible. The Act builds on Canada’s world class food safety system and provides greater consistency for Canadian businesses, whether they produce food for the domestic or the international markets.
New legislation to meet changing needs
The Safe Food for Canadians Act consolidates several pieces of legislation - the Canadian Agricultural Products Act, the Fish Inspection Act, the Meat Inspection Act, and the food provisions of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act - which were created at various times over the past decades. They have served Canadians well, but the time has come to have new tools to manage today’s risks to food safety.
New legislation for Canadian industry
The legislation focuses on three important areas that will result in a more modern and stronger Canadian food industry. By modernizing rules and regulations, enhancing international market opportunities, and providing a redress mechanism, the Government of Canada is helping Canadian food industry focus on doing what they do well: produce safe, high-quality food for consumers in Canada and abroad.
What new legislation means for Canadian industry
Modernized and simplified food safety legislation
By consolidating and modernizing the CFIA’s food commodity statutes, industry will benefit from greater consistency in industry requirements. A single set of rules will clarify expectations, make compliance easier to achieve and foster a level playing field for industry.
Enhanced market access
The legislation creates new export opportunities for Canadian producers by providing the CFIA the authority to certify all food commodities for export. Official certification is increasingly being demanded by trading partners.
As well, the legislation more closely aligns Canada’s food safety system with those of our trading partners, notably the United States. Flexible, modern authorities allows for timely responses to new international trade requirements.
New review mechanism
In addition to the announcement made in February 2012, the Safe Food for Canadians Act creates a legislated review mechanism for regulated parties to seek review of certain decisions made by CFIA officials. Established under the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act, this mechanism provides an additional avenue of recourse for regulated parties.
The review mechanism applies to all products falling under legislation administered by the CFIA. It will be faster and less costly than the judicial process, and regulated parties still have the ability to seek redress via a judicial review by the Federal Court if they are unsatisfied with the final CFIA decision.
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