Listeria epidemic scandal in Canada

This video is called Listeria and pregnancy in Canada, Doug Powell, Global News.

By John Mackay:

Canadian Medical Association Journal attacks Harper government for listeria epidemic

20 September 2008

The Canadian Medical Association Journal, one of the world’s top medical publications, has made a scathing attack on Canada’s Conservative government, charging that “government policy errors helped bring about” the recent epidemic of listeriosis that has so far killed 17 people across Canada and sickened scores more.

The editorial in the current CMAJ issue, dated October 7, 2008, says the recent changes to the government’s monitoring of processed meat products severely weakened safety standards, notes that Canada has lower listeria standards than many other countries, and calls for a full public inquiry into the failings of Canada’s food inspection system.

Published in the midst of the campaign for Canada’s October 14 federal election, the CMAJ editorial and an accompanying article on listeria have served to again highlight the damaging impact draconian cuts in government services and the gutting of regulations are having on people’s lives.

Amir Attaran, a member of the CMAJ Editorial Board and co-author of the editorial, has bluntly stated, “The fact is, this outbreak was 100 percent avoidable and unnecessary.”

The listeria outbreak, which erupted only a few months after the federal government began to introduce new laxer inspection rules, is the worst recorded anywhere in the world. It was traced to a Toronto plant owned by Maple Leaf Foods. Canada’s largest food processing company, Maple Leaf is owned by one of Canada’s richest individuals, billionaire Wallace McCain.

Even now there is considerable cause for concern, since listeria bacteria can remain latent for at least 3 months. As the current outbreak is only about five or six weeks old it is highly possible it will claim more lives, render others ill, and induce more miscarriages.

Those most susceptible to infection are newborns and children as well as the elderly.

See also here.

USA: FROZEN VEGETABLES RECALLED IN 35 STATES True Goodness by Meijer, Wellsley Farms Organic, Organic by Nature, and Schwan’s products have been recalled over listeria concerns. [Suzy Strutner, HuffPost]

Update: Canada: Conservatives lose votes, but retain power: here.

SAY IT AIN’T SO Nestle is recalling some of its ice cream drumsticks after the factory in which they were made tested positive for Listeria. [CNN]

5 thoughts on “Listeria epidemic scandal in Canada

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