JSGS associate director releases new book on food safety

Over the past two decades, food safety has been making powerful and often terrifying headlines.

Pas dans mon assiette/Not On My Plate: JSGS associate director releases new book on food safety

Consumers are increasingly frightened by what may lurk in the food on their plates. Could there be bacteria, biological agents, or genetically-modified genes? Are they right to worry?

Food and fear are the subjects of a new book by Sylvain Charlebois, a noted expert on food systems and safety, and associate director of the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.

Entitled Pas dans mon assiette: Manger est-il devenu risqué? (Not On My Plate: Has Eating Become Risky?), it was recently launched in Montreal by its publishers, Les Éditions Voix Parallèles.

Over the past two decades, food safety has been making powerful and often terrifying headlines. The 2008 discovery of listeriosis in Maple Leaf meats dominated the news for weeks; indeed, the bacterium contributed to several deaths in Canada. Mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, was found in European beef herds in the 1990s. When it was discovered on an Alberta farm in 2003, it resulted in a substantial - and lengthy - Canadian food export crisis.

In his new book, Charlebois examines the six largest recalls in the past decade, and determines whether the Canadian food industry has learned valuable lessons from these crises.

He also evaluates the possibility of a major terrorist attacks coming through the food chain. Charlebois argues that great care must be taken to avert such threats, since they not only can happen - they could happen soon.

Charlebois sets the stage for these terrifying food-based possibilities by describing the meanings of food safety and food security, while also arguing that small-scale farming is not necessarily a panacea for healthy, safe eating.

Pas dans mon assiette/Not On My Plate provides a focused but wide-ranging analysis of today's food systems, their security and pitfalls, as well as possible solutions to the issues. Charlebois, a professor of both business and public policy, furthermore offers a new architecture for Canada's food safety system involving reconfigured government agencies and responsibilities.

Pas dans mon assiette is presently available in French. Dr. Charlebois can be reached for comment on the book's content in both French and English. Download the book cover.

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For more information, contact:
Joanne Paulson, Research Communications Officer
Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
Phone: (306) 966-8393
Email: joanne.paulson@usask.ca

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