Safeguarding plant health with science

September 13, 2019 posted by


We’re called the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, but the CFIA is much more than food. The CFIA is dedicated to safeguarding
plants, animals and food. This enhances the health and well-being
of Canada’s people, environment and economy. That’s our mission. The CFIA is also dedicated to excellence
as a science-based regulator… trusted and respected by Canadians and the international community. That’s our vision. Safeguarding Canada’s plants, animals and food demands modern approaches and a focus on one mission-critical tool: science. Plants are the first link in the food chain. Plants are also critical to Canada’s
economy, with the country’s crop industry generating more than 22 billion dollars
in exports alone. To protect biodiversity and Canada’s plant resource base, the CFIA works to prevent the introduction and spread of pests, especially those that could threaten Canada’s food security, environment and economy. The CFIA also works to make sure Canada doesn’t export pests to other countries. We work closely with international partners on science-based plant health standards that protect our international reputation and keep trade flowing. We strive to minimize risks to Canada’s plant resource base by developing and enforcing import and
export controls, performing inspections, and advancing and applying plant science. Our work covers more than just crops. We’re responsible for a great variety of
plant resources, including forests. Canada’s forest products industry contributes almost 20 billion dollars to the country’s GDP and employs more than 200,000 people. The case of the emerald ash borer shows
just how devastating an effect plant pests can have on the industry and the
environment. First detected in 2002, this invasive species is expected to cost Canada 2 billion dollars for the treatment removal and replacement of trees. The CFIA has worked to slow the spread of the emerald ash borer, in partnership with other government agencies — and we are also developing control
strategies. Robust policies and international work supported by rigorous inspections have kept many dangerous plant pests out of Canada altogether,
protecting plant resources and jobs. Through social media and on the web, the CFIA gives the public timely easy to
understand information on managing pests By protecting plant health, the CFIA helps
safeguard Canada’s environment and economy — and the health of all Canadians. Thanks to the work of the CFIA we have safe access to a remarkable range of
plant-based foods and products from across the country and around the world. Plant health is one part of a continuum
that also includes animal health and food safety — and integrated approach for the good of Canadians, their environment and economy. No matter what changes the future brings, the CFIA strives to maintain the highest level of plant health, animal health and food safety — for all Canadians.

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