A 7-member Ministerial Advisory Board (MAB) of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has been named by Gerry Ritz, Canada’s Agricultural Minister.

Ritz said the appointments are “another step to strengthen Canada’s food safety system” and include a diverse range of experts from the food, animal, and plant health sectors.

They will advise the Ag Minister on food safety and other issues related to CFIA’s mandate.

Ritz said the appointment of the advisory body fulfills another recommendation of the Report of the Independent Investigator into the 2008 Listeriosis Outbreak (the “Weatherill Report”).

“Today’s announcement is one more way we are improving an already world-recognized food safety system,” said Ritz. “This highly qualified and diverse advisory board builds upon our Government’s increased investments, hiring of more inspectors, and enhanced Listeria testing.”

The Ministerial Advisory Board will be an active forum; it will meet regularly and report annually.

“This outstanding group of individuals will be a vital, external source that will advise on how to further strengthen our food safety system,” said the Ag Minister. “Our Government will continue to work towards fulfilling all 57 recommendations of the Weatherill Report.”

The CFIA enforces 13 federal acts and is responsible for safeguarding Canada’s food supply, monitoring animal health and protecting plants.

The Ministerial Advisory Board’s will hold an introductory meeting by the end of the year.