In case anybody was wondering, political tactics remain the same world-wide. In the United States, President Obama is still blaming President Bush for most anything that might stick. In Canada, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz of the Conservative government in Ottawa just blamed a 2005 decision by the previous Liberal government for last year’s listeria outbreak that killed 21 people across Canada.
The Canwest News Service reports that Ritz “tried to farm out some of the blame to the previous Liberal government when he testified that the decision in 2005 to cancel the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s mandatory listeria testing program was a big blunder.
“Environmental tests were not required and there was no requirement to report the results,” Ritz testified. “The cancellation of that particular program by the previous government was a huge mistake.”
Staff at the Maple Leaf Foods plant in Toronto that produced contaminated meat last year conducted regular tests searching for listeria in the plant environment, including food-contact surfaces.
But the company wasn’t required to do so or to report the results to government inspectors.
And at the time of the outbreak, the CFIA wasn’t aware of the existence of these test results, which showed numerous positive test results for listeria.
Canwest has more here.