Country 105

Country 105

Agriculture Report

Cuts at Canadian Food Inspection Agency


Liberals condemn Conservative plans to cut hundreds of food inspectors


The Liberals are condemning plans by the Conservative government to cut hundreds of inspectors from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and reduce the agency's funding by millions.

The Grits claim the Harper government is cutting 234 full-time food safety jobs and 21 and a half million dollars from the food inspection budget.

A footnote in the C-F-I-A's annual planning report says the reductions stem from the short-term nature of the response to the 2008 listeriosis crisis -- which killed 23 Canadians and resulted in hundreds more becoming seriously ill.

It was only in 2010 that U-S regulators warned Canadian officials that the number of inspectors and inspections of food processing plants had to increase if Canadian food exports to the U-S were to continue.


Job cuts have started at the newly revamped Canadian Wheat Board -- which was recently stripped of its marketing monopoly.

23 people have been let go in Winnipeg.

Officials confirm job cuts will continue over the next several months -- but no word on how many of the 394 employees will be affected.



Everybody knows the rhyme about beans -- but the director of research for Pulse Canada says there's new research suggesting it's true.

Julianne Curran says the two-month study found that adding peas, beans, chickpeas and lentils to a regular diet helps fight heart disease.

She says it decreased total cholesterol by eight per cent.

Curran says pulse crops are low in fat and rich in protein, fibre and antioxidants.


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is warning that certain bunches of Fenugreek leaves may be contaminated with toxic weeds.

The Fenugreek leaves were sold exclusively in Alberta and B-C last week.

The toxic weed Senecio vulgaris can contain various chemicals which are known to cause liver damage in humans if consumed in sufficient amounts.

So far, there have been no reported illnesses.


Minimal snow cover this winter appears to be making life a little easier for Alberta's farmers.

Grain farmers don't have to wade through high drifts to get to their bins and cattle can graze on pasture land unfettered by snow.

The drawback is that the lack of snow will affect winter wheat germination and damage some perennial crops.


A draft horse show that's made its home in Regina at Agribition for the past 10 years is hitching up and moving east.

The Draft Horse Classic Sale and Futurity will be held during the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair in Brandon, Manitoba this year from March 29th to the 31st.

The Draft Show organizers says they were an add-on at Agribition which is oriented towards cattle and livestock.


And a greenhouse in Alberta has come up with an edible Valentine's Day present that's a healthier alternative to chocolates.

Doef's Greenhouses in Lacombe is marketing custom-formed cucumbers that transform into heart-shaped pieces when sliced.

They're created by placing a plastic mould on mini English cucumbers when they're about the size of a cigar.

They are being sold as Mini Heart cucumbers under the Picky Gardener brand -- but only in Western Canada.


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