Fish, sausage, even honey: Food fraud is hidden in plain sight


A 2018 study found 61% of seafood products tested at Montréal grocery stores and restaurants were mislabelled

 The globalization of the food chain has resulted in increased complexity and diminished transparency and trust into how and where our foods are grown, harvested, processed and by whom.

Furthermore, recurring incidents of food fraud remind us that some of those involved in the food chain are exploiting this complexity. Today, consumers are at an increased risk of buying lower-quality food than what they paid for, or worse, eating food with unsafe ingredients or undeclared allergens.

Historically, food chain transparency and trust was established between the shopper and the farmer or fishmonger, green grocer, butcher, milkman and baker. Dutch scholar Arthur Mol argued that this personal interaction enabled face-to-face transparency, which built trust.

Before modern supermarkets, a local village or town grocery store stocked up to 300 items grown or processed within a 240-kilometre (150-mile) radius. In comparison, our post-modern supermarkets carry an average of 33,000 items that travel 2,400 kilometres or more. The Canadian government is poised to tackle that problem by announcing a Buy Canadian food campaign.

While the extent of global food fraud is difficult to quantify, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) suggests food fraud affects 10 per cent of commercially sold food. Various academic and industry sources suggest that globally, food fraud ranges from US$10 billion to $49 billion. This is likely a conservative range considering estimates of fake Australian meats alone and sold worldwide are as high as AUD$4 billion, or more than US$2.5 billion.

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Why Canada is becoming a start-up mecca rivaling Silicon Valley



Five Canadian companies made CNBC’s 2019 Upstart 100 list unveiled on Tuesday: Attabotics, Calgary; Cmd, Vancouver; Deep Genomics and Nobul, Toronto; and RenoRun, Montreal.

Collectively, these promising start-ups raised more than $77 million in venture capital.

The entrepreneurial ecosystem is booming in major cities in Canada, thanks to government incentives, a growing tech talent pool and access to venture capital.

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Police in Canada are tracking people’s ‘negative’ behavior in a ‘risk’ database


 The database includes detailed, but “de-identified,” information about people’s lives culled from conversations between police, social services, health workers, and more.

Police, social services, and health workers in Canada are using shared databases to track the behaviour of vulnerable people—including minors and people experiencing homelessness—with little oversight and often without consent.

Documents obtained by Motherboard from Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) through an access to information request show that at least two provinces—Ontario and Saskatchewan—maintain a “Risk-driven Tracking Database” that is used to amass highly sensitive information about people’s lives. Information in the database includes whether a person uses drugs, has been the victim of an assault, or lives in a “negative neighborhood.”

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Basic income could work—if you do it Canada-style


A Canadian province is giving people money with no strings attached—revealing both the appeal and the limitations of the idea.

Dana Bowman, 56, expresses gratitude for fresh produce at least 10 times in the hour and a half we’re having coffee on a frigid spring day in Lindsay, Ontario. Over the many years she scraped by on government disability payments, she tended to stick to frozen vegetables. She’d also save by visiting a food bank or buying marked-down items near or past their sell-by date.

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Heading North: American doctors are heading to Canada

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For Peter Cram, an American internist who spent most of his career practicing in Iowa City, Iowa, moving to Toronto in 2014 was an easy decision.

He says he is among a handful of American doctors who went north to practice in Canada’s single-payer system. Now he doesn’t worry about whether his patients can afford treatment. “Everyone gets a basic level of care,” he says, which lets him focus on their medical needs instead of their finances.

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Calgary’s Snøhetta-designed public library will be the Apple Store of libraries

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Library designed by architectural firm Snøhetta.

Shaunacy Ferro:  Hanging out at the library might just become cool as Calgary, Canada has plans to build a new lending library. The library will be designed by Snøhetta, an architecture firm. The library will have a  240,000-square-foot center and will be more than just a repository for plastic-protected books. Twice as large as Calgary’s existing public library, it’s designed to be both a circulating public library and a community gathering space, a combination bookstore/computer lab/cafe/event space/social hub that provides a pathway between two disconnected neighborhoods. (Photos)



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World’s first Bitcoin ATM to launch in Canada

Bitcoin is an emerging digital currency that isn’t controlled by any authority such as a central bank.

The world’s first Bitcoin ATM is believed to launch in Canada this week.  CBC reports, Mitchell Demeter, co-founder of Vancouver bitcoin trading company Bitcoiniacs and part-owner of Robocoin, has invested in five such machines to be placed across Canada.



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Now you can shop at Walmart while waiting at the bus stop

QR codes lets bus riders pick up a few things on the way home using their phones.

The time you spend waiting for a bus can normally be put to better use, if only you weren’t stuck at the bus stop. That’s exactly why Walmart has decided to bring the supermarket to you, making it possible to do some of your weekly shopping while you wait.



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Brilliant young entrepreneurs being wooed by Canada’s new startup visa

The bet is that some of the braniacs’ startups will eventually create lots of good jobs.

One of the world’s largest immigration programs is in Canada and they are launched a new type of visa for foreign entrepreneurs this week. Foreign nationals can apply to the new Startup Visa program and gain immediate permanent residency if the secure funding from Canadian venture capital firms or angel investors. Canada’s new program is the latest in a score of startup visas recently created or revamped by governments, including Australia, Chile, and the U.K., to woo foreign entrepreneurs.



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Urbee – World’s first 3D printed car ready for production

The Urbee – a 3D printed car.

This is 2013, and you probably won’t be surprised to hear that someone was using 3D printers to make a car.  In this case, the car is the Urbee, a tiny three=wheeled economy car with an electric motor, internal combustion engine, and a 3D printed frame.




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