OTTAWA, Ontario – The Government of Canada said it has taken another step to strengthen Canada's food-safety system by appointing seven advisors to the Ministerial Advisory Board of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

A diverse range of experts from the food, animal and plant-health sectors who will advise the minister on food safety and other issues related to the CFIA's mandate are included in the MAB. The announcement on this news fulfills another recommendation of the Report of the Independent Investigator into the 2008 Listeriosis Outbreak (the "Weatherill Report").

"This highly-qualified and diverse advisory board builds upon our government's increased investments, hiring of more inspectors, and enhanced Listeria testing," Ritz said.

The Ministerial Advisory Board 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," Ritz said. "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 advisory board expects to have their introductory meeting by the end of this year.