Re: Grain Safety Assured, The Regina Leader-Post, October 29, 2012
by Kyle Korneychuk
Kamsack Times Nov 15, 2012 edition

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz’s recent editorial “Grain Safety Assured” is just more propaganda from Ottawa.

We know from the XL beef mess that removing impartial Federal inspectors does not help food safety so Ritz’s changes to the Grain Act will do nothing to enhance the safety of Canada’s food.  For farmers these changes will actually remove accountability and scrutiny in the grain system.

Inward inspection is the weighing and grading of grain when railcars are unloaded at port. This is to confirm what the elevators take in and the grade of what actually gets shipped out. This auditing is important to farmers because with natural mixing and planned blending of grain, impurities are diluted and the price of the grain increases.

When the CWB single desk was in existence, this extra money was shared between producers and grain companies. Now Ritz will see that it all goes to the grain companies.  With no one monitoring this slippage, only the grain companies will know how much it is.

Minister Ritz is completely wrong to say inward inspection only establishes the commercial value of grain, and thus can be performed by private-sector firms when requested. This is like asserting that meat companies can perform e coli tests on the meat when requested or hire someone else to do it. We all know how well that worked

He pretends that these changes will save upwards of $20 million but says nothing about the money farmers will lose. Will the Minister legislate this to ensure that this financial bounty is returned to producers? Likely not! What we can envisage is Grain Company handling fees increasing, and that they will keep all of the loot.

Ritz proclaims “the grain sector has been calling for this change,” which is more propaganda.  Doesn’t he mean he is accountable to the grain companies and the less than 200 members of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers who are so vocal on this subject?

This is nothing more than another amendment which gives grain companies supremacy and reduces any assurances that the system is fair for farmers.

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