Open letter to MP Russ Hiebert (South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale).
In December, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency implemented a ban on the importation of poultry products from Washington, Oregon and California in response to a supposed threat of avian flu to Canadian poultry farms. This was implemented even though farms in B.C. were already infected weeks before. Both American and Canadian authorities and scientists agree that the cause of the flu being passed along to domesticated flocks originates not from contamination by other domesticated poultry facilities but from wild flocks that migrate over the borders and intermingle.
What is even more disconcerting is this, on the surface, appears to be an attempt by the Canadian poultry industry to lessen competition by restricting or stopping lesser-priced (in this case) American products from entering the country. For political reasons, Canadian marketing boards and their products (eggs, milk, cheese, poultry) were not included in the North American Free Trade Agreement, thus locking Canadian consumers into communist-like, price-regulated fixing and restrictions.
Canadian officials at the CFIA also keep postponing the removal of the ban citing weak excuses when there is NO danger to the public nor producers from these products.
CFIA officials are quoted: “There is no food-safety risk associated with these products. These measures are being taken to prevent the introduction of avian influenza into other parts of Canada.”
The question arises, then, how do you stop migratory birds which carry the virus from crossing the border? You can’t. In addition, poultry farms are not feeding raw chicken, eggs or associated products for which the ban applies to their flocks. So that leaves the average consumer. How does the CFIA figure the general public will therefore transmit the disease?
Since there is no food-safety risk, then their consumption is not an issue. It is time for this silly Trojan horse regulatory ban to be lifted.
As our local member of Parliament, please advise me what you have or are doing on this issue and if nothing, what measures can you bring to bear to correct it.
Stephen Morris, Surrey