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Canada’s Food Agency Wins Two More Convictions

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has obtained two more convictions for violations of legislation it is charged with enforcing.

Convictions of Claude Berni, president of Uni-Viande Inc., and a company called Boucherie M. Rhéaume Inc., brings CFIA’s total prosecutions for the year to 15.

In both cases, the Court of Quebec imposed fines as sentences. One company was also ordered to destroy its product.

Berni was fined $10,000 in conjunction with his earlier plea of guilty for one count of violating Canada’s Meat Inspection Act.

The successful prosecution involved the charge CFIA made against Berni on April 28, 2006.  

He was convicted of making a false or misleading declaration to an inspector in writing, thereby contravening subsection 14(1) of the Meat Inspection Act.  The declaration indicated that the meat to be exported consisted of pork fat rather than pork meat.

Uni-Viande is a 27-year-old pork, veal, and poultry processor serving both hotel and food service chains.  It is located in Sant-Jean-Sur-Richellieu, Quebec.

Boucherie M. Rhéaume Inc., located in Lac-Saint-Charles, Quebec, was fined $3,000, and ordered to destroy about $4,000 worth of meat products.

According to CFIA, the offense, which occurred on June 4, 2008, involved packaging meat products in a misleading manner likely to create an erroneous impression regarding their nature or composition. 

Boucherie M. Rhéaume Inc., a non-federally registered establishment, packaged meat products in boxes bearing the meat inspection legend without authorization, thereby contravening subsection 5(1) of the Food and Drugs Act.

CFIA is responsible for enforcing a variety of legislation, including Canada’s Meat Inspection Act and the Food and Drugs Act.

The Meat Inspection Act governs, among others, the import, export and interprovincial trade of meat products. 

In this regard, the CFIA carries out activities that include conducting inspections and verifying the labeling compliance of meat products intended for export.

The Food and Drugs Act prohibits the packaging of food in a manner likely to create an erroneous impression regarding its nature or composition. 

Among other things, this act is intended to protect consumers against economic fraud and product misrepresentation related to food.

CFIA issues prosecution bulletins when a conviction is obtained.

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