CFIA Internal Audit Reveals Import Policy Shortcomings


OTTAWA — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) recently released findings, revealed in an internal 2005-2008 audit, suggest the agency has limited ability to monitor the safety of imported food.

Now, the CFIA is seeking feedback on a regulatory proposal aimed at enhancing import controls.  According to the agency’s website, the proposal could affect importers of food products that fall under the Non-Federally Registered Sector (NFRS) umbrella, such as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, candy, fats and oils, infant formula, spices, coffee and tea.

According to the agency’s website, the proposal would, among other things, seek to “identify and engage regulated parties importing food products and ingredients in the NFRS, enhance verification of compliance with food-safety requirements and minimize the risk of unsafe products entering the Canadian marketplace.”

The problem is being examined for a number of reasons, including the fact that 70 per cent of the food product sold in Canada is imported; the number of food-safety incidences involving imported product into Canada has increased in the past few years; and Canadians have begun to voice their concerns about the safety of imported food.

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