Agriculture

Superbugs slipping through ‘gaps’ and ‘loopsholes’ in Canadian regulations
Publish Date: 20-FEB-2014 09:14 AM
Canada needs to better control and contain resistant microbes — or superbugs — that are killing and sickening thousands of Canadian each year, say leading doctors. A good place to start, they say, is to close “loopholes” that permit Canadian farmers to import antibiotics by the truckload to feed to their animals – a practice that helps breed resistant microbes 
 
La résistance croissante des microbes aux antibiotiques inquiète (French only)
Publish Date: 18-FEB-2014 08:54 AM
La résistance croissante des microbes aux antibiotiques est devenue une menace à l'échelle de la planète, prise très au sérieux par les autorités sanitaires qui, comme l'OMS, commencent à multiplier mises en garde et plans d'action. 
 
When Will Harper’s People Stop Denying Climate Change
Publish Date: 18-FEB-2014 08:44 AM
One of most unpredictable and dangerous impacts of climate change is the threat it poses to our ability to grow and harvest food across Canada and around the globe.On a global scale, food security in the age of climate change is a serious concern with reports warning that climate change could drive up food prices and lead to millions of people living in a state of food insecurity. In the context of this agricultural insecurity, Gerry Ritz, Canada's Minister for Agriculture, told the House of Commons last week that "this cold weather can't last forever. This global warming has to stop some time". 
 
Bees. Careful.
Publish Date: 17-FEB-2014 03:35 PM
Farm groups are pressing the Senate to forestall for years any regulations on pesticides rated toxic to bees. Members of the Senate agriculture committee investigating deaths of bee colonies were told any restrictions on neonicotinoid pesticides should await a complete review by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency. 
 
U.S. food-safety audit gives Canada low grade, calls for better meat oversight
Publish Date: 07-JAN-2014 03:23 PM
A U.S. audit of Canada’s food-safety system calls on the federal regulator to strengthen oversight of sanitation and the humane handling of animals at meat-slaughtering plants. The findings from the tour of seven food-processing facilities, two laboratories and five Canadian Food Inspection Agency offices in the fall of 2012 were kept confidential until recently. 
 
Pesticide ‘contaminating’ Prairie wetlands: scientist
Publish Date: 06-JAN-2014 03:20 PM
A University of Saskatchewan biologist says many wetlands across the Prairies are being contaminated by a relatively new pesticide that is threatening the ecosystem. 
 
Farming salmon on land is possible, project suggests
Publish Date: 06-JAN-2014 03:18 PM
The Canadian fishing industry is on the verge of being able to grow this saltwater fish anywhere – including, hypothetically, in the prairie provinces. The Namgis closed containment facility on Vancouver Island is the first salmon farm in North America to grow Atlantic salmon on a commercial scale in a completely land-based aquaculture system.  
 
NRC to lay off 57 positions
Publish Date: 02-JAN-2014 02:47 PM
The National Research Council is in the middle of a nation-wide workforce adjustment process that will result in job losses at NRC locations across the country. NRC officials confirmed Dec. 20 that 57 positions will be eliminated across the country, including six in Halifax, 20 in Quebec, 18 in Ontario, one in Winnipeg and eight in Saskatoon. All of the affected jobs in Western Canada are scientific positions involving experts in aquatic research and crop resource development. 
 
Neonicotinoid pesticides blamed for bee deaths could affect humans, EU agency says
Publish Date: 20-DEC-2013 08:23 AM
Neonicotinoid pesticides that are widely used on crops in Canada could have adverse affects on the human nervous system, the European Food Safety Authority declared this week. The chemicals, used to treat corn, soybean and canola seeds, have previously been blamed for mass honey bee deaths in Ontario and Quebec, prompting Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulation Agency (PMRA) to proclaim current practices of neonicotinoid use “not sustainable.”  
 
Cuts have some concerned about the future of ag research in BC
Publish Date: 14-DEC-2013 03:57 PM
According to the Public Service Alliance union, the federal government has been downsizing operations at its Pacific Agri-food Research Centres, which once included Agassiz, Summerland and a station in Kamloops.  
 
Abeilles - Extinction massive: Santé Canada ne bouge pas (French)
Publish Date: 06-DEC-2013 02:54 PM
L’Union européenne a décidé de suspendre l’utilisation des néonicotinoïdes, fabriqués par la compagnie allemande Bayer. Même si plusieurs organismes canadiens réclament l’arrêt de l’utilisation d’un pesticide qui serait responsable de la mort de millions d’abeilles, d’autant plus que ce pesticide est utilisé dans presque tous les champs de maïs du pays, notamment au Québec. Santé Canada confirme qu’elle n’a pas l’intention de bannir le produit.  
 
Canada may use satellites, not farmers, to measure crop size
Publish Date: 10-SEP-2013 01:18 PM
Statistics Canada may scrap one of its annual farmer surveys on crop yields in favor of a report that uses satellite data to estimate production. Statscan, the national statistical agency, said the satellite data was producing increasingly similar results to its September farmer survey on yields of wheat, canola and other crops, and the change would help meet cost-cutting goals. Axing the September farmer survey would be the latest in a series of changes to how the Canadian government calculates data for the agricultural sector in Canada, which is the world's biggest canola grower and No. 6 wheat producer. 
 
L’agence d’inspection des aliments n’enquêtera plus sur les cas d’anthrax (French)
Publish Date: 09-JUN-2013 08:23 AM
L'anthrax, qui peut entraîner la mort de bovins, de bisons ainsi que d'autres animaux de pâturage, et dans de rares cas, d'humains, ne sera plus surveillée par l'Agence canadienne d'inspection des aliments, qui estime que cette responsabilité revient plutôt aux producteurs de bétail. Ainsi, l'ACIA n'enquêtera plus sur les fermes infectées par l'anthrax, ne mettra plus en quarantaine ou ne recueillera des échantillons pour des fins d'analyse. Le bétail ne sera plus vacciné par ses soins et aucune aide financière ne sera dorénavant apportée aux producteurs pour se débarrasser des carcasses d'animaux infectés. 
 
Canadian agriculture cuts have global consequences: dean
Publish Date: 31-MAY-2013 03:44 PM
Recent government cuts to Agriculture Canada could have a major global impact, particularly if the world population — and its appetite — continues to grow, said the dean of one of Canada’s top agriculture faculties. John Kennelly, dean of the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences, said the government’s decision to cut back on agricultural research comes at a time of a global food shortage.There is an international demand for more food, especially from major agriculture exporters like Canada, he said. 
 
Science dealt another blow
Publish Date: 11-MAY-2013 08:39 AM
While the specific impacts of the federal government's announcement that some 700 employees may lose their jobs at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada labs and farms remain unknown, there should be no illusion that Saskatchewan will escape unscathed. Saskatoon continues to host a major Agriculture Canada research facility on the university campus, but it isn't only through the potential loss of jobs that the pain will be felt. For more than 126 years, Agriculture Canada research has helped to make Canada, and Saskatchewan in particular, among the world's most important food-producing regions.  
 
Research council’s makeover leaves Canadian industry setting the agenda
Publish Date: 07-MAY-2013 08:40 AM
The National Research Council, which gave the country canola and the atomic clock, will now be taking its scientific cues from Canadian industry as part of a makeover of the country’s flagship research labs. The overhaul, quietly begun two years ago and formally unveiled Tuesday, means the 97-year-old NRC will focus on a clutch of large-scale, business-driven research projects at the expense of the basic science that was once at its core. The Conservative government says it wants to leverage the NRC’s world-class resources – everything from wind tunnels and ice tanks to high-powered microscopes – to help reverse the country’s chronically lagging innovation performance.  
 
Canada losing ground in environmental and resource science, report says
Publish Date: 26-SEP-2012 09:43 AM
Canada is no longer a powerhouse in environmental and natural resources science, according to a comprehensive report to be released Thursday. “The overall decline in these fields is real,” reports a blue-ribbon panel asked by the federal government to assess the state of Canada’s science and technology. It says the country continues to excel in health sciences and information and communications technologies and many other fields, but is losing ground in natural resources and environmental sciences, which were considered two of the country’s top four scientific strengths in 2006.  
 
Carole Brodeur (French)
Publish Date: 20-JUL-2010 01:05 PM
Carole Brodeur works at the Food Research and Development Centre located in the Agri-food Science Park in Saint-Hyacinthe, QC.