BTC: And back round to the central question


CBC talks to more of the families (video here). And a grieving mother helpfully brings us back to the more substantive matter of public policy.

In Ontario, the mother of 36-year-old Kristen Hicks, who died in an Alberta hospital of listeriosis on Aug. 14, said she’s upset by Ritz’s comments … Hicks took issue with Ritz’s scripted apology and his refusal to take questions from the media, saying it made her feel that “public safety was secondary to his wish to remain in office.”

Hicks told CBC News she thought that both the agriculture and the health minister had done a poor job handling the outbreak. “And now, in light of a very, very serious and heartbreaking situation, they seem to be taking it no more seriously,” she said.

That CMAJ editorial, again, is here. The accompanying commentary is here. And here is a separate piece on how best to monitor the food industry.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada is raising similar concerns. And, from Canwest, news that some imported foods are subject to different standards.


BTC: And back round to the central question

  1. I wonder if the news media hounds really care about these families or are they just using them to further a story, and to watch the political fallout.
    Did any of these hounds think about calling weeks ago to offer condolences or any such thing? Nope.Now that there’s a story, lets trot them out so everyone can see their suffering now.

  2. Translation from Daryl: The Conservatives have a major public relations disaster on their hands, and I’m going to try to blame the media for it.

  3. Props to Aaron for the links. Glad to see the CMAJ recommendations in the spotlight.

    My summary of their views is this: Canada’s food safety system has out-of-date regulations and too little independence from government. Self-monitoring works other places, and may improve public safety. In Canada, we have been testing only carcasses, and not finished products, and have allowed a higher level of bacteria in the carcasses than other jurisdications. These concerns date back to 1998.

    With the adoption of self-monitoring at Maple Leaf, the government did not give clear direction on the sampling procedure – this may have allowed Maple Leaf to under-sample, or inadvertently mis-sample, incoming carcasses. With no testing of final product, this allowed contaminated slicing machines to spread the bacteria to all products.

    Final product sampling would have prevented the epidemic. The CMAJ has been pushing for this for 8 years or more. Pasteurized cold-cuts for hospitals and retirement homes could have prevented the deaths.

  4. Yes Daryl, I think this is all the medias fault. The CBC even wrote the jokes for the ministers to make and rumour has it the CBC was seen around Maple Leaf Foods with a huge bag of listeriosis. Approximately 5,000 of them. The conspiracy is that large.

    Of course though, the MSM is not reporting on this because they are liberal left-tards bent on turning Canada into a Marxist state.

    That is the current line, isn’t it? Or are we still using communist? Should I include a nanny-state reference and try to work in a Fidel?

  5. No, Dije, the CBC doesn’t write the dumb jokes for gaffe-prone Tories. The CBC writes the questions for Liberals to ask in parliamentary committee.

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