Mr. Chairman, within the food and consumer safety action plan, we have allocated the funding on a proactive basis and have developed work plans against several priority areas.
The first is in terms of active prevention, including better understanding of food safety risks, with investments over time to allow us to better analyze, with other partners—Health Canada, and the Public Health Agency of Canada, and globally—information gathered through the marketplace and through our sampling and testing programs on how we can become most effective in expending those moneys for the best protection of Canadians and global consumers. And we'll be working with industry to minimize food safety risks, so that we can adjust our program to be less prescriptive and have less oversight, recognizing that industry has their quality management-based systems and their production for bringing quality food to the marketplace; and working specifically to better identify importers and foreign authorities, and to work offshore as well, to make sure that product arriving at our borders meets Canadian standards.
We will also be investing also in the area of “Product of Canada” labelling, which has been discussed extensively over the past period of time by this committee. We have allocated money for that, both in terms of consumer outreach and awareness, as well as enforcement verification activities, as those are adjusted.
The second major area is in targeted oversight, specifically looking at import food safety, working with the Canada Border Services Agency and others in terms of the timing and the types of blitzes that we will be taking to verify against our surveillance objectives and residue monitoring plans to ensure that our requirements are being met. And we'll be enhancing with industry the identification of those high risk foods that potentially carry a greater risk into the marketplace, issues that would affect babies, young children, or aged populations that may be even more compromised
Finally, Mr. Chairman, the third area is rapid response. Again, I think Canada has a world-class food recall system that does identify risks when they are identified in the marketplace. I think it's worthy to note for the committee that the vast majority of our recalls are on a proactive advisory basis, in the absence of actual confirmation of human health requirements or impacts; but at the same time, we'll be working with industry to identify hazards that may somehow have worked through the system, to get them out of the marketplace before they become public health risks.
Finally, Mr. Chair, the last area is broader-based communication with consumers, recognizing again that food safety is a shared accountability, starting with inputs and producers right through the system to distribution and retail, while recognizing consumers' role in food safety as well.