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Friday, October 05, 2012 

Conservative Cabinet Minister Gerry Ritz's 'Death By A Thousand Cold Cuts'

"That it took XL Foods until Thursday to not only take full responsibility for the E. Coli outbreak at its Brooks plant, but also to say anything about the issue at all says much. One might have thought that corporations would be more capable in these type of circumstances, given that the gold standard was established in 2008 by Maple Leaf Foods' handling of the Listeriosis crisis that led to 22 deaths nationwide.

 But the truth is that food corporations aren't directly accountable to the public. They are accountable to government regulators and we must rely on government to insure there is accountability.

That isn't what happened and - given Ritz's own 2008 experience with the Listeriosis outbreak - there's simply no excuse this time

No, we haven't heard about Ritz making any "death by a thousand cold cuts" jokes to CFIA officials. But after ducking the issue in House of Commons question period, his aide cutting off a press conference Wednesday during tough questioning, Ritz missing the (admittedly late) House of Commons emergency debate Wednesday night and being rightly pounded in the 24-hour news cycle for an arrogant lack of accountability, there's little to indicate that Ritz has learned anything.

Accountability remains his avenue of last resort. Obfuscation is his preferred path. Or so seems the case when he dismissed the largest food recall in Canadian history as no big deal. He rhetorically asked a North Battleford Rotary luncheon: "Is there an epidemic of E. coli outbreaks?"

This is a minister who views accountability as what happens when he has no other alternative."
Regina Leader-Post
October 5, 2012
Read more: http://www.leaderpost.com/health/Ritz+lack+accountability/7347362/story.html#ixzz28R7TsxQk



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