Remember these guys? Joe and ‘Con’ at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) — “waging their war”?

CFIA -- food safety... or marketing wars?

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Remember these guys from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) testifying at the Cohen Commission into Fraser River Sockeye Declines in Dec. 2011?

As asked in the initial post on this matter:

If the Canadian Food Inspection Agency top staff and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (and the BC Government) think that it’s about headlines and winning PR wars… what does that say about the safety of our food in Canada?

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SALMONGATE: ‘Joe’ at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency says: “It is clear that we are turning the PR tide to our favour… and we will win the war, also.”

Joseph Beres is the BC Manager of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Cornelius (Con) Kiley is the “Acting Director” of Aquatic Animal Health within the entire Agency.

Both of these individuals, as commented on the first post in this matter (Dec. 2011, click highlighted text above to read that post), are most likely in the high $100,000/year, close to $200,000 per year, salary range… and pensions that will last them just fine.

Let’s just say they probably aren’t too concerned about Harper’s most recent threats to the Old Age Security (OAS) program…

One can guess, that there was little repercussions from the above email being released as evidence within the Cohen Commission hearings…?

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So there’s more being added to this story now…

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The “Surveillance Piece” as mentioned to ‘Con’ by ‘Joe’ in the email above… is now making the rounds for “consultation”… yet oddly enough, even though comments are due by some groups by March 16, 2011 — I can’t seem to find any documents related to it on the website… (update: found the Executive Summary on their website– you have to email CFIA for the full document)

One draft version is circulating by email, however, and here it is here (if anyone has the least amount of interest).

Surveillance_proposal_for_BC_Executive_Summary

CFIA Salmonids Surveillance in BC February 2012 (full Draft document)

(Update: short article here: Testing of 5,000 wild salmon proposed by CFIA)

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Here’s the curious piece though…

trustworthy "surveillance" team?

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So let me recap…

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency, with emails circulating like the one above suggesting this is a Public Relations – PR game (not an actual wild ecosystem and public health issue)… and…

the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (or Dept. of Fisheries and Profits), which had to be taken to the Supreme Court to demonstrate that they were completely and entirely wrong in delegating authority of salmon farming to the Province of B.C. —

that they in fact went against the Canadian Constitution and the divisions of Powers in Canada (between feds and Provinces)… and…

is the same government Ministry that has given hundred of millions of $$ to the salmon farming industry for “research & development & marketing” (and so on)… and…

actually has the delegated federal responsibility to safeguard and conserve wild salmon FIRST….

…AND…

the Province of BC, which has also invested millions upon millions of dollars into the salmon farming industry on the BC coast, and potentially was ‘on watch’ when diseases starting breaking out in BC salmon farms (as reported at the Cohen Commission by scientists in December… wouldn’t want to end up in a defamation lawuit filed by a salmon farming company),

…not to mention, massive amounts of Atlantic salmon escapees all along the BC south coast areas (whoops, guess I did “mention it”)… and…

wait for it….and…

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INDUSTRY…(??!!)

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are going to “implement a surveillance initiative in British Columbia for infectious salmon anemia (ISA)…”

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Well, hold my horses… that sounds like a crack team of Navy Blue Seals…

This plans sounds more waterproof then the latest Bounty paper towel… or my 2-year old’s new underwear…

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One…

where the hell was this “surveillance” plan twenty years ago or more when the salmon farming industry first started setting up shop on the BC coast?

It’s not like the issue of open-pen salmon farms and domesticating animals disease break-out on coasts that still had wild salmon runs — was a new issue… (for crying out loud). (let alone the issue of domesticating any animals and resulting disease outbreaks…)

Go talk to Norway… ask them what they had to do in their rivers…

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Two…

How the *#^* does this ‘plan’:

…provide support to the protection of our aquatic resources”…? [last sentence in clip above]

Isn’t this like saying that the evidence provided at a murder trial will bring the murdered victim back to life…?

Or… will protect the next potential victim…?

How’s this working when it comes to gun violence?

Faulty logic, CFIA folks… faulty logic…

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Let’s look at the sentence before it for a bit more of a clue…

The objective of this surveillance initiative is to ‘complement existing disease surveillance activities…’

OK great, so your first objective is to complement existing activities…?

That’s comforting…

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… by determining the status of three viruses in anadromous salmonid populations of concern in B.C.

First question: what is an anadromous salmonid of concern in B.C.?

all of them?

some of them?

one of them?

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“The evidence put forward… will provide support to the protection of our aquatic resources…”

How?

Specifically…?

Oh wait…

let’s read the last three words of this first paragraph…

“…and to trade.”

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That’s what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about “trade”

and we’re talking about “marketing.”… and we’re talking about PR wars…

The rest about: ‘protecting aquatic resources‘ is just plain old…

BULLSHIT.

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bullshit of the worst kind…. Bumpf-filled bullshit.

It looks like words on paper, but if you smell real careful-like… you can get a good strong whiff…

Drivel-filled bullshit.

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Last time I checked, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency didn’t have it too high up in the mandate to “protect aquatic resources.”

This is a PR exercise.

Protect our trade. Comfort our trade partners.

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Last paragraph of Exec Summary:

in other words: if disease breaks out, there's nothing we can do...

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… we will notify our trade partners… notify trade partners… do our due diligence on notification…

(and do a cull program of farmed salmon in open-pen cages…during actual disease outbreaks)

but…

there is absolutely *^@-all we can do for the wild fish or wild ecosystems…

This is government-bumpf, kill-you-with-bureaucratic-bullets in PowerPoint drivel.

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Where was any type of program like this over the last 20 years when Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) was being reported by respected scientists?

Where was this 10 years ago, five…?

Why now?

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Hmmmmm. maybe because it came up at the Cohen Commission?

Because, emails like the one above got out?

Do you actually think there’s credibility left in any of the organizations that make up this little “surveillance team”?

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If you want to feel any warmer and fuzzier, there’s an actual: “Aquatic Animal Health Committee” at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency; they would have been key in drafting this drivel…:

Input into the development of the National Aquatic Animal Health Program (NAAHP) [incredibly fitting acronym if you pronounce it phonetically] is managed through the Aquatic Animal Health Committee (AAHC).

This Committee includes provincial and territorial authorities for aquaculture and wild fisheries resource management, veterinary association representatives, Aboriginal groups and wild and farmed industry stakeholders.

Oh ghad… i can hear the bureaucratic layers building…

And…there is an “invited membership” list:

Invited Committee Membership

  • DFO Science
  • CFIA Operations
  • DFO Fisheries and Aquaculture Management; DFO Oceans
  • Provincial and Territorial governments
  • National Aboriginal, First Nations and Métis Organisations
  • The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA)
  • The Fisheries Council of Canada (FCC)
  • Recreational aquatic resource organisations (anglers; baitfish)
  • Ornamental and educational display aquatic resource users
  • Research and Academic interests
  • Commercial harvest fisheries representatives
  • Seafood processing industries
  • The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and associated regional representatives.

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Curious who the Fisheries Council of Canada is?

I was. From their website:

Fisheries Council of Canada (FCC) is the voice of Canada’s fish and seafood industry, promoting a healthy resource and working to develop an economically sound, market-driven, competitively-structured industry that offers harvesters, employees, and processors secure and stable opportunities and a sustainable future.

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And the “Terms of Reference” of the CFIA Committee?

Terms of Reference

The National Aquatic Animal Health Program (NAAHP) is a federal program, co-delivered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) under the legislative authority of the Health of Animals Act.

The NAAHP is designed to meet international aquatic animal health management standards that protect Canadian aquatic resources (wild and farmed) from serious aquatic animal diseases and maintain competitive international market access.

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“Protect” the “aquatic resources”…

HOW?

Truly… someone please tell me how…

monitoring programs only tell you: “shoot, we have a disease problem…” They don’t: protect from them in the first place — because to do that would mean… no open-pen fish farms on the BC coast…

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Protect competitive international market access‘ is a lot more like it. International markets don’t like disease outbreaks of any kind…

Unfortunately, “death-by-bureaucratese-bullets” and “protect-your-civil-service-butt” is not yet a recognized international food-chain disease…

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Just read the “Rationale” for this organization, to pick up the true purpose… (they let it slip a bit here…):

Rationale

The National Aquatic Animal Health Program (NAAHP) is a science-based regulatory program for aquatic animal diseases that have been designated reportable or notifiable because of their impact on Canada’s trade, economies and environment.

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“Whooop, there it is…!”

Isn’t that how that song goes?

“impact on trade and economies”… that’s what we’re talking about…. PR, marketing, trade, and economies.

Wild salmon…?

nah…. they’re screwed anyways

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the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is only interested in wild salmon… when they’re dead, marinated, broiled, and almost on your restaurant plate…

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You know, JOE… (and Con)…. you’re probably right… just “nail this surveillance piece” and you probably will win the war…

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It’s just sad to think that the CFIA waged “a war” on wild salmon in the first place… (along with DFO, the Province of BC, and industry groups…)

Now, I’m going to have a NAAHP… (I sort of did while reading the 50-page Draft drivel-filled document).

We are in a pretty sad state of affairs… more to come on government ‘consultation’…

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