Tag Archives: listeriosis

Minister forced to apologize for ‘tasteless’ listeria jokes – Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz


TONDA MACCHARLES
OTTAWA BUREAU
SAGUENAY, QUE.–Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz was forced to apologize yesterday for “tasteless and completely inappropriate” jokes on an Aug. 30 government conference call during the listeriosis crisis.

“This is like a death by a thousand cuts. Or should I say cold cuts,” Ritz quipped after fretting about the political dangers of the crisis.

And when told during the conference call about a new death in Prince Edward Island, Ritz remarked: “Please tell me it’s Wayne Easter.”

Easter, the Liberal MP for the P.E.I. riding of Malpeque, is his party’s critic shadowing Ritz’s Agriculture Department.

The Canadian Press reported the comments last night, citing sources who took notes during the call.

So far, 17 deaths, including 14 in Ontario, have been linked to the listeriosis outbreak, which sparked a massive recall of food products from a Maple Leaf Foods plant in Toronto.

The plant where the listeria bacterium was found embedded deep inside slicing equipment was closed Aug. 20 and reopened yesterday.

Listeriosis causes high fever, headache, neck stiffness and nausea that is of particular concern to the elderly, pregnant women and the infirm.

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Statscan Censorship?


An interesting post on The Progressive Economics Forum

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Censorship in Canada

Censorship in Canada

Once again, there seems to be a heavier hand in editing Statistics Canada’s releases.  This morning The Daily reported that:

“Spending on research and development in the higher education sector amounted to $9.6 billion (current dollars) in the fiscal year 2006/2007.”

but there was no word on whether this was an increase or decrease from the previous period, which Statscan releases almost always have.

The year 2006/7 was the first year that the Harper government was in office.  Investment in research and development is essential to increase our economy’s productivity, which hasn’t increased since the start of 2006 (and has grown at a dismal rate since 2000).

Canada has some of the most generous tax incentives for private R&D in the world, yet Canada has one of the lowest rates of investment in R&D among OECD countries thanks to both low rates of government and business investment in R&D, accoridng to Industry Canada’s Science and Technology Data tables.  Canada’s investment in higher education R&D had recently been relatively good, but it looks like the current federal government may soon rectify that.

The Harper government is laying off federal scientists and forcing departments to slash their R&D budgets .  It is deregulating food safety inspection and transferring or selling off federal labs to the private sector, intent on further commercialization and privatization. They eliminated the national science advisor and have instead appointed Preston Manning among others to help advise on science issues.  This approach to science recently earned the Harper government scathing criticism in an editorial in Nature, one of the most respected science publications in the world.

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Ontario plant’s cheese added to Listeria list


Cheese produced at an Ontario plant has been added to the long list of products feared tainted with the potentially deadly Listeria bacteria. The latest addition comes just one day after Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed to launch an independent investigation designed to prevent similar outbreaks in the future.

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Ontario Listeriosis Update August 22, 2008


Listeriosis

Listeriosis

Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health reported today that two additional deaths have been confirmed to be directly caused by the listeriosis outbreak. This brings the total number of deaths to three.Outbreak associated cases of Listeriosis have also been reported in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Quebec.

QUOTES

“We will continue to monitor the situation very closely,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “I would like to remind the public, especially those at high risk for Listeriosis, such as the elderly, pregnant women and those with weak immune systems, to avoid consuming any meats connected with the CFIA recall. If in doubt – throw it out.”
QUICK FACTS

* Listeriosis is a reportable disease under Ontario Regulation 569 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act;
* The incubation period for Listeriosis is from three to seventy days with an average incubation period of three weeks.

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IMPORTANT UPDATE:

August 25, 2008

NEWS

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s listeriosis update, as of Monday, August 25, 2008.

The local public health units have been asked to check their local hospitals, long-term care homes and daycares to ensure that any products from the Toronto Maple Leaf plant have been removed and are not being consumed. In addition, they have also been advised to check for recalled products at key retail outlet locations.

Last Friday, the public health units were asked to check the smaller stores, mom-and-pop shops that may not have heard of the recall.

QUOTES

“I would like to remind the public to check their refrigerators and ensure that any products related to the food recall are thrown out,” said Dr David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

LEARN MORE

For an up-to-date list on this recall and other CFIA consumer food recalls online

Find out more about Listeriosis online

Contact your local public health unit.

For public inquires call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only) Members of the media :

Mark Nesbitt, 416-314-6197
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
ontario.ca/health-news