September 11, 2017

Updated NAFTA could bring better food safety

With two rounds of negotiating finished, and third to come later in September, a Canadian farm policy group has released a report arguing that renegotiating NAFTA presents an opportunity to improve food safety across North America.

The Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI) put out the report titled “Risk and Reward: Food Safety and NAFTA 2.0” on Sept. 8.  CAPI said that with the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act and the Safe Food for Canadians Act, both counties have already taken steps to modernize their largely independent food safety oversight systems.

However, CAPI argues that NAFTA renegotiation presents an opportunity to provide a “stronger, joined-up, science-based underpinning to these efforts,” specifically in the areas of food safety hazard identification and surveillance, risk assessment and technology approvals.

“Taking advantage of NAFTA renegotiation, there is an opportunity to re-examine cross-border structures to ensure the science of food safety risk assessment is done jointly, not just collaboratively, such that independent regulatory decisions achieve the best possible outcome for consumers and for business,” the report reads.

The full report can be found here.

The next round of NAFTA talks are set for Sept. 23.

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