Cablegate: Fda Bioterror Rules: Positive Local Reaction

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

071015Z Nov 03





E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (U) Government and fishing industry officials in Atlantic
Canada have told us that they are generally pleased with the
FDA's anti-bioterrorism regulations, principally those
concerning the prior notice time for perishable shipments. Our
contacts were deeply concerned that the 24-hour notice time that
had been originally proposed would have severely hampered the
cross border seafood trade. Exporters and New England fish
buyers processors had mounted an intense lobbying effort that
ultimately saw the regulations amended to provide for just two
hours notice.

2. (SBU) New Brunswick's Director of Trade, Harry Quinlan, told
us on November 6 that this amendment was a clear indication that
the US government officials had made a substantial effort to
make the regulations more user-friendly. Moreover, he said he
and his provincial colleagues and counterparts were very pleased
that they had the opportunity to make comments on the proposed
rules before they were finalized.

3. (U) One Nova Scotia fish exporter, Denny Morrow of the Nova
Scotia Fish Packers Association, echoed Quinlan's comments and
also told us that he was very appreciative of the efforts by
high level officials including Ambassador Paul Cellucci. Morrow
told us he was very pleased by the Ambassador's personal
attention to this issue which he saw as very effective in
bringing about the notification amendments.

4. (U) Morrow repeated his comments in a local press interview
with the "Sou'wester" a bi-weekly fishing industry newspaper
published in Yarmouth Nova Scotia. In the article headlined,
"Anti-Terrorism Bill - Amendments a Boon to Seafood Industry",
Morrow was quoted as saying, "US Ambassador to Canada Paul
Cellucci also deserves a special note of thanks for making sure
that the concerns of the seafood industry in Atlantic Canada
were heard in Washington." (A copy of the press article is being
faxed to Embassy Ottawa and WHA/CAN.)

5. (SBU) Morrow and Quinlan, along with Quinlan's Nova Scotia
counterpart, Greg Bent, have mentioned that they see some minor
problems with the regulations, such as the added expense of very
small, family-run fish exporting businesses. Bent's primary
concern is his belief that there will be no uniformity with
which border enforcement officials will apply the new
regulations. Nonetheless, he predicted that with the anticipated
training, personnel would eventually be "singing from the same
song book." Morrow also believes that there will be sufficient
leniency during the start-up phase that exporters would not
likely see any measurable impact on their operations.

6. (SBU) COMMENT: Overall, there is a general sense of relief
that the region was able to emerge from this process with all of
their concerns heard, on the notice time as well as and other
issues. With that, New Brunswick's Quinlan best summed up the
reaction here with his comment that clearly what has emerged is
a reasonable way of moving food produce and fish across the
U.S.-Canada border. END COMMENT


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