West Kootenay Advertiser
NDP MP Alex Atamanenko says he’s disappointed his private member’s bill over horse meat for human consumption failed to pass in parliament but he hopes it leaves a lasting influence on the food industry and general public.
The bill would have imposed certain limits on the horse slaughter industry. Horses are injected with a variety of drugs which are prohibited for human digestion.
Last year the Conservative party voted against the bill, which failed to pass. The Liberals and most of Atamanenko’s party voted for the bill.
Atamanenko, who speaks passionately about his bill, told the Advertiser he believes industry pressure prevented it from passing.
“This type of pressure from industry is what I have been battling over the years. The same thing happened when I introduced my bill on genetically modified foods and organisms,” he said.
Although the bill did not pass, it did receive positive support from members of his party. After a bit of rewording, he hopes the bill of similar stature will be reintroduced by someone in the NDP.
“The support is there, the groundswell of all the people who have come behind the bill, the petitions, the folks in the horse defence coalition, and others have tremendous support for this bill.”
Because private member bills are essentially ideas, the government could take this bill and introduce their own. Atamanenko said he and his party hope the government will advance this issue.
Atamanenko said he’s not distressed but is optimistic his bill, though it did not pass, will open the minds of the populace. Food quality is important and people should know what they are eating, he said.