Thank you, honourable member.
Mr. Chair, I would echo that from a CFIA perspective. I would suggest that CFIA is one of the most audited organizations in Canada. Canada is a global supplier of food. We are one of the preeminent suppliers of food at the global market. We are audited by virtually every country that we export to at some level. There's probably not a week that goes by when there is not an audit team from another country here, whether they're looking at the fish program or the seafood program, whether they're looking at the horse meat program or whatever commodities we're involved in exporting.
So we have a lot of third-party external audit that takes place. We're here today because we have a very rigorous internal audit process, which we as management very much value. We do recognize the value of those efforts because they do guide us in terms of continuous improvement. We're not afraid of audit. We think it is very important. It raises both awareness and transparency about what we do and how we do it. We value the inputs of others because we want to be the best we can possibly be.
With respect to new and emerging technologies, I do agree that I think there are significant opportunities in the food safety area around those technologies. Whether they're automated, or even if they're not, certain of those technologies do require assessment processes. Again, some of the non-automated ones we would make reference to are the additives that Health Canada must approve for addition to foods as microbial inhibitors. For the automated side, there are high-pressure packaging opportunities that a number of industries are investing in also as a way of controlling or eliminating bacteria. Certainly there are a number of automated technologies as well in terms of new and sophisticated detection methods.
My colleague Dr. Dubuc can speak to some of the implementation of those technologies within our laboratory system, where we can scan for a wide range of possible contaminants or adulterants with a single sample put-through. Certainly I think the other aspect around some of the automated technologies will also apply to our field staff in terms of new tools that can be brought to their work in the field, in terms of hand-held technologies that allow for rapid analysis of the information that they're seeing, and validation of whether or not there is a risk or not a risk associated with the products they are in fact assessing at that point in time.
I think also we are starting to see at the global level some of the automated technologies related to tracking and tracing: the ability of radio frequency tags and the ability of animals to be tracked through an automated system, from their point of tagging through to the point of slaughter, and then the subsequent products that are produced from those animals being tracked as well, right to the level of your steak at a restaurant with a bar code, or in the marketplace, in those areas.
Traceability and those technologies are very much intimate to, I think, public long-term confidence in food. They want to know where their food comes from. In many areas, they want to know the production practices associated with that food as well from social values, so I think we will continue to adopt these technologies into our processing as they continue to emerge, where they've been validated and invaluable. It will in fact give us better food safety outcomes going forward than we can even achieve today.