The new U.S. farm bill is so unCOOL

The new American farm bill contains significant bad news for Canada. Signed by president Barack Obama a few weeks ago, this $956 billion deal will increasingly isolate America from the global agrifood market, and the once strongly integrated North American agricultural economy will become progressively less fluid. Frankly speaking, this strategy appears to suggest that […] Read more

CFIA should release food test results

The organic movement was served a toxic dish recently when the media disclosed that a Canadian Food In-spection Agency study suggests organic food contains pesticide residues. The report claimed that half of a sample of organic products randomly tested had traces of pesticides. To explain why results were not disseminated when the study was completed […] Read more

Consumers need info to reduce food waste

Increasing concerns about food waste in the West recently led a former top executive in the food retail business to develop a business model in which food waste is reduced upstream from consumers. His concept, The Daily Table, is proposed as a chain of hybrid grocery store-restaurants cooking on-site with expired food products and then […] Read more


Food recalls are unfortunate but lead to changes in regulations and protocols in food handling that improve food safety.  |  File photo

XL recall had positive effect on food safety

Food safety crises often lead to better things. The XL Foods recall, the largest in Canadian history, happened just over a year ago, and has arguably had a positive impact on industry and regulations alike. The latest Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm recall involving raw milk cheeses will likely not be an exception either. In that […] Read more

The federal government didn’t act when it had the chance to avoid the BSE crisis in 2003.  |  File photo

BSE and the legacy of a national crisis

Most would agree that the discovery of BSE in Canada in May 2003 wasn’t really a food safety crisis, at least in this country. In retrospect, it was primarily a trade crisis. As domestic demand for beef shattered records in Canada that year, 35 countries, including the United States and Japan, overnight issued an embargo […] Read more


Accountability has become key in the food industry.  |  file photo

Welcome to new normal in food safety

Food traceability, which is a powerful tool to mitigate risks across food supply chains, does not guarantee food safety and integrity. Even so, the challenge of tracking food products and ingredients upstream and downstream touches on the core of what is required to manage risks posed by the new normal in the business of food […] Read more

Happy consumers may buy more food

While America was pondering who to elect as president, California was contemplating Proposition 37. It would have required genetically modified organisms in food to be labelled. It failed at the ballots, but it has inspired a broader referendum about our continental food supply. Some think it could influence Canada’s policies on food labelling in the […] Read more

Product labelling may calm consumer concerns over genetically modified food and give the food industry a boost.  |  File photo

Happy consumers may buy more food

While America was pondering who to elect as president, California was contemplating Proposition 37. It would have required genetically modified organisms in food to be labelled. It failed at the ballots, but it has inspired a broader referendum about our continental food supply. Some think it could influence Canada’s policies on food labelling in the […] Read more


While new rules require warning of allergens on food labels, more work is needed to develop international labelling standards.  |  File photo

Allergen labels allow some peace of mind

Canada is not a world leader on food labelling, but it’s close. Many parents and school board bureaucrats across the country probably expressed a sigh of relief when Canada’s new food allergen labelling regulations, ann-ounced in February 2011, came into force Aug. 4. The Canadian food industry was given 18 months to implement the new […] Read more

Embrace the new normal in agriculture

As the worst drought in a half century persists in the United States Midwest crop region, prices for crops soar. Corn recently increased nearly 50 percent in just six weeks, soybeans for August delivery rose 44.5 cents, and wheat prices reached the highest level since the spring of 2008. Not surprisingly, consumers are concerned about […] Read more