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Pork Industry Responds to BSE Concerns

by 5m Editor
22 July 2003, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1304. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Manitoba Pork Council


Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1304

Canada Pork International says every effort is being made to assure international customers that Canada's food is safe.

A single incident of BSE discovered on a Northern Alberta cattle ranch has raised questions about the safety of the Canadian feed supply and the meat produced from livestock that consume that feed.

Canada Pork International President Bill Vaags says, while the science has shown the one infected cow did not enter the food chain, there is still a public concern that must be addressed.

"Some of our people that are trading in these foreign markets have had requests from their buyers.

They are saying, 'are you guys using meat and bone meal and, if you are, we're not sure that we want your product because we want to be absolutely sure that the product is safe and sound.'

Then there are other people that are saying, 'we haven't heard any wrinklings from any of our customers.'

In the meantime we've got to deal with the ones that are concerned. We have to assure them that quality assurance of our product is the number one issue.

Traceability back to the farm, where ever the origin comes from, is the other issue.

We can't stress that enough and hopefully, in the next little while, this whole food safety scare will go away.

It almost seems like it's an over reaction by some customers as to whether or not our food is safe.

We like to believe that our food is the safest in the world".

Vaags says the science shows meat and bone meal poses no risk when used in non-ruminant animal feeds but not everyone is convinced so the industry is glad to cooperate.

He says he hasn't used meat or bone meal products on his farm for 25 years and several of the larger feed mills in Western Canada have circulated letters assuring their customers they haven't used the product in decades.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor