Food ter­ror­ists

Agri­cul­ture min­is­ters de­nounce food tam­per­ing

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE - BY RYAN ROSS

When it comes to re­cent potato tam­per­ing, the P.E.I. and fed­eral agri­cul­ture min­is­ters are in agree­ment.

They both think it’s food ter­ror­ism.

Dur­ing a news con­fer­ence af­ter the coun­try’s agri­cul­ture min­is­ters met in P.E.I. this week, Ritz fielded a ques­tion about food tam­per­ing and restor­ing con­sumer con­fi­dence.

“The great thing is Cana­dian con­sumers un­der­stand that these are de­spi­ca­ble, de­plorable acts,” he said.

P.E.I. farm­ers have dealt with the brunt of re­cent potato tam­per­ing cases af­ter me­tal ob­jects were found in nu­mer­ous places around At­lantic Canada.

Since then the pro­vin­cial and fed­eral gov­ern­ments have pro­vided fund­ing to help farm­ers buy me­tal de­tect­ing equip­ment to avoid any fur­ther in­ci­dents.

A $500,000 re­ward is also still in place for any in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to the ar­rest of who­ever is re­spon­si­ble for the tam­per­ing in­ci­dents.

Ritz called the per­pe­tra­tors “scoundrels” and “food ter­ror­ists,” say­ing he looked for­ward to see­ing the full force of the law thrown at them.

In an in­ter­view af­ter the news con­fer­ence, P.E.I. Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Alan McIsaac called them de­spi­ca­ble acts and said he agreed with Ritz. “They are food ter­ror­ists.” McIsaac said the tam­per­ing is af­fect­ing the num­ber one in­dus­try in P.E.I.’s agri­cul­tural econ­omy.

“It’s un­ac­cept­able.”

HEATHER TAWEEL/THE GUARDIAN

Fed­eral Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Gerry Ritz, left, and Prince Ed­ward Is­land Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries Alan McIsaac chat af­ter a press con­fer­ence held at the Delta Ho­tel Fri­day. Fed­eral, pro­vin­cial and ter­ri­to­rial agri­cul­ture min­is­ters held their an­nual meet­ing in Char­lot­te­town.

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