Country 105

Country 105


Agriculture Report

Mixed Views of Listeria Crisis

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Sub-Committee split over public inquiry over deadly listerious outbreak.


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A parliamentary probe is split over its investigation into last summer's deadly listeriosis crisis.

The House of Commons sub-committee tabled two dissenting reports today.

Opposition M-P's in the majority on the committee are calling for a public inquiry into the outbreak and greater autonomy for the Public Health Agency of Canada.

But the smaller number of Conservative M-P's on the panel have issued a dissenting report that makes no mention of a public inquiry.

The Tories say they will await the findings of an independent investigator appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to probe the outbreak.

Investigator Sheila Weatherill must report to Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz by July 20th.

The Conservatives say they released a dissenting report because they do not believe the main report "sufficiently, accurately and-or fairly'' addresses certain issues.

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The Heart and Stroke Foundation says it's time Ottawa brought in regulations forcing the prepared-food industry to reduce trans fats in its products.

The foundation says the food industry has had two years to voluntarily slash trans-fat levels or face a mandatory requirement to meet certain targets.

A task force recommended in June 2007 that trans fats in vegetable oils and margarines should not exceed two per cent of content and be limited to five per cent in all other foods.

Heart and Stroke spokesman Stephen Samis says monitoring shows that some food companies have removed or reduced trans fats from their products, but others haven't bothered.

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Saskatchewan's agriculture minister says the government is responding to ongoing drought conditions, particularly in west-central regions of the province.

Bob Bjornerud says he's been talking to farmers about moisture conditions and plans visits to the worst of the drought area next week.

He says financial aid is being considered.

For now, the province is moving cattle from the dry areas and opening up Crown pastures.

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Potash One is making plans to develop a new potash project northwest of Regina for an estimated 1.9 billion dollars U-S.

The company says work is done on a pre-feasibility study at its Legacy potash project in Saskatchewan, and the results have convinced the company to move forward to the feasibility stage.

The Legacy mine, which would use a method that uses water to dissolve minerals for extraction, would have a 40-year life and produce 2.5 million tonnes per year of potash, with initial startup targeted for the fourth quarter of 2013

 


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